Qualcomm announces Snapdragon AR2, S5 and S3 Gen 2 platforms

At Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit, the company unveiled not only Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, but also Snapdragon AR2, a new mobile computing platform and updated S5 and S3 Gen 2 sound platforms.

Augmented Reality

Starting with AR2 Gen 1 Platform, the company designed the chip for upcoming XR (mixed reality) glasses. The new platform, which Qualcomm says it built from the ground up, will reportedly allow hardware makers to release thinner AR glasses.

The smart glasses’ main processor occupies a 40 percent smaller PCB area on-glass and delivers 2.5x better AI performance. It also consumes 50 percent less power, allowing the AR glasses to use less than 1W of power. Qualcomm says that this will enable rich AR experiences on glasses that can be worn comfortably for hours.

To help create smaller glasses arms, Snapdragon AR2 uses a multi-chip architecture that includes an AR processor and a co-processor, which distribute the processing of latency-sensitive perception data directly on the glasses and then offload more complex data processing requirements to a Snapdragon-powered phone or PC.

The AR processor uses a dedicated hardware acceleration engine to improve user motion tracking and localization and an AI accelerator to reduce latency for sensitive input interactions, including hand tracking or 6DoF. Further, the connectivity platform uses Qualcomm Fast Connect 7800 connectivity system to unlock WiFi 7 technology and reach less than 2ms latency between the AR glasses and the phone.

Companies like LG, Lenovo, Nreal, TCL, Sharp, Oppo and more are working with Qualcomm to create smart glasses.

Sound Platforms

Qualcomm’s S5 Gen 2 and S3 Gen 2 Sound platforms are feature-rich, ultra-lower power platforms and add new features to Snapdragon Sound, which include spatial audio with dynamic head-tracking, improved lossless music streaming and 48ms latency between phone and earbud for lag-free gaming. Additionally, the platforms offer third-generation Qualcomm Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation that improves the listener experience by adapting to both in-ear fit and the external environment.

The platforms also feature adaptive active noise cancellation that includes Adaptive Transparency mode with automatic speech detection and support smooth transitions between immersive noise-cancelling. Expect Qualcomm S5 and S3 Gen 2 sound platforms in devices in the second half of 2023.

Mobile Computing

Finally, Qualcomm and Microsoft are collaborating with new AI-accelerated experiences for Windows 11 with Windows Studio Effects Voice Focus, Background Blur, Automatic Framing and Eye Contact. The Surface 9 Pro 5G also features the Microsoft SQ3 powered by Snapdragon.

At the Snapdragon Summit we saw a live demo of the Windows Studio Effect with Voice Focus.  In the demo an employee was on camera, and crinkled a bag of chips and had a waterfall in the background. With Voice Focus turned on the extra sounds were removed and made her voice clear. Additionally, with Automatic Framing, when another employee joined her, the camera automatically fit both of them in the frame with her not having to touch her Windows computer.

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