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Qualcomm Unveils Reference Design For VR Headset Powered by Snapdragon 845

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Qualcomm's sample headset teases what's next for mobile VR

While mobile technology is understandably a huge focus for Qualcomm, it has also announced big steps forward in its C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) communication technology testing, which first started 12 months ago. In any case, this 845 VR product works with today's software and beyond. In this device - and others like it - users will have 30 percent faster graphics performance, 30 percent better power efficiency, and more than twice as much display throughput than they would with the non-VR-focused Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform.

"With the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform, we're supporting the next wave of smartphone and standalone VR headsets for our customers and developers to create the immersive applications and experiences of the future", said Hugo Swart, head of the virtual and augmented reality business group at Qualcomm. Specifically, a Snapdragon 845 VR headset can support two 2400x2400 resolution displays at 120 frames per second.

Another new feature joining the Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm Broadcast Audio, which will allow a single Bluetooth device to send music to multiple devices at once, with near ideal synchronisation. Roomscale here means the device will be able to track the body and location without cables or separate room sensors - everything the device needs is in the device itself.

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Working with French auto manufacturer Groupe PSA, Qualcomm has been using its 9150 C-V2X chipset and reference platform to test its ability to support autonomous communication between vehicles.

In our experience, smartphone-powered VR headsets can be occasionally fiddly to get going and the handset can get quite warm making the whole VR experience feel less than futuristic. In December, when the company introduced the new Snapdragon model, it also revealed Adreno Foveation, its take on foveated rendering.

The 845 platform also includes a digital signal processor for measuring, filtering, or compressing analog signals. The headset sports four cameras, with two facing inwards for eye tracking. In addition to US, UK and Australian Microsoft Stores, you should see these relatively affordable and decently powerful 2-in-1s sold through Amazon, China's JD.com, Italy's Unieuro, France's Boulanger and Fnac, as well as UK's BT Shop, John Lewis and PC World starting "this calendar quarter".

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