New Qualcomm Tech Aims to Bring High-Quality AR and VR Mainstream
Qualcomm today announced a major expansion of Spectra, its effort to offer manufacturers a drop-in hardware and software solution for easily and affordably adding advanced camera technology to phones and other devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. The expanded Spectra suite includes three new hardware camera modules. The flagship module is an active depth-sensing camera that uses an infrared projector and camera to create a 3D map of its environment, much like LIDAR. The other two new modules are a passive depth-sensing version using two standard cameras, and an iris-scanning front camera. Previous Spectra modules focused on photography, while the new modules enable and enhance additional phone functions, including biometric security, advanced AR, room-scale VR, and AI-powered object recognition. Spectra hardware modules are designed with Qualcomm's guidance, but are made by third-party vendors. Each type of module is offered in one version from one vendor. The Spectra suite also includes ready-to-go driver software tuned to each hardware module, and uses unique ISP technology built into the company's Snapdragon chips. The three new camera modules rely on a new version of the ISP — to be found in future Snapdragon chips — that has been redesigned from the ground-up to be optimized for depth-sensing. The active depth-sensing hardware and software is compatible with Google's Tango AR platform, and should enable Tango phones that are smaller, cheaper, and have much better AR performance. When used for VR applications, the active depth-sensing can be used for position tracking that's good enough to enable room-scale VR in phones. This new version of Spectra also includes advanced new algorithms to reduce noise and improve low-light performance in both still photos and video, by intelligently analyzing multiple frames. The new capabilities will be part of the next generation of Snapdragon chips, which has yet to be announced.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR1 Targets Stand-Alone XR Hardware
Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon XR1 Platform, a system-on-a-chip dedicated to stand-alone virtual/augmented reality headsets. Much like Qualcomm's mobile platforms, the XR1 contains multiple modules that together enable powerful extended reality experiences.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 710 Brings AI Smarts to Camera and Multimedia Apps In a Powerful SoC
Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon 710, the first system-on-a-chip in its 700 series mobile platform. The 710 finds space between the Snapdragon 600 series and Snapdragon 800 series for devices that need to balance performance and cost.
Qualcomm Improves Its High-Tier Range with Snapdragon 660 and 630
Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630 mobile platforms, two new systems-on-a-chip that the company says will dramatically improve speed, battery life, and photography for sub-flagship smartphones. The Snapdragon 660 succeeds the 653, while the 630 succeeds the 626.
Snapdragon 845 Boasts Advanced Imaging Tools and AI Smarts
Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, its flagship system-on-a-chip for 2018. Qualcomm expects the module to form the core of next year's top smartphones, which it will endow with multimedia smarts for both audio and video.
Qualcomm Brings 'Clear Sight' Tech to Snapdragons
Qualcomm today announced new camera technology that it says will help generate better photos on devices with the Snapdragon 820 and 821 processors. Qualcomm's Clear Sight relies on two imaging sensors to imitate the cones and rods within the human eye.