Semiconductor giant Qualcomm says its latest XR chipset, the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 1, will find its way into multiple virtual and mixed reality (MR) headsets by the end of 2022.

We know of at least two headset that already feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon XR chipset: the recently launched Meta Quest Pro and Lenovo ThinkReality VRX, both of which are VR standalones capable of augmented reality interactions thanks to color passthrough cameras (aka ‘mixed reality’).

Announced on October 11th alongside Quest Pro, Snapdragon XR2+ boasts better heat dissipation, providing it the ability for 50% higher sustained power and 30% improved thermal performance over the previous Snapdragon XR2 introduced in 2019, which you’ll find in many VR and AR headsets today.

Meta Quest Pro | Photo by Road to VR

“This allows more concurrent multimedia and perception technologies to be utilized simultaneously enabling full-sensory interactions, like creating life-like human expressions in the metaverse, without compromising form factor,” the company says.

Qualcomm says Snapdragon XR2+ introduces a new image processing pipeline providing less than 10ms latency for the sort of full-color passthrough seen in Quest Pro and ThinkReality VRX.​ It also supports 8K 60fps 360-degree video, low latency Wi-Fi 6, head, hand and controller tracking, 3D reconstruction, automatic room mapping, and high pixel density displays.

Qualcomm's Head of XR is Leaving at a Pivotal Moment for the Industry

The company says “[m]ultiple OEMs have already committed to commercializing devices powered by Snapdragon XR2+ that will be announced by the end of 2022,” which means we’re due for a deluge of higher-end headsets which is slated to bring more competition to the prosumer and enterprise space.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • XRC

    “Snapdragon XR2+ boasts better heat dissipation, providing it the ability for 50% higher sustained power”

    Interested to see how this impact device operating time? Will require larger battery to maintain existing duration?

    • JanO

      XR2+ is basically the same SOC, just packaged differently, with twice the memory and better cooling. In the Quest 2, it was slightly underclocked to provide better battery life and thermals. On Quest Pro, it’s got more headroom, but it still IS the same chip. Don’t expect much of a difference… Better at multitasking since it has twice the memory, but NOT much more performance than the vanilla XR2… Think of it like overclocking… A bit better performance for a lot more energy consumtion (up to 50% more power, NOT perf.)

      Even the rumored XR2 gen2 chip with Adreno 730 providing about twice the GPU performance of Quest 2 will NOT be that much of a game changer…. Progress, yes. Game changer, NO.

      As a comparison, I usually only upgrade videocards when I can quadruple the gaming resolution, otherwise I feel the upgrade just isn’t worth the trouble/expense…

      • kontis

        Hopefully it also has “bugs” fixed (or return of undocumented features) that caused perf degradation in XR2 for some stuff compared to 835 that Carmack talked about.

      • silvaring

        Do you upgrade your video cards once every 10 years? That seems pretty excessive to wait til you can get the same FPS at quadruple the res.

  • Zack71

    Are you speaking of Gen1 or Gen2?
    Quest 3 should be Gen 2…not clear

    • MeowMix

      Gen2 hasn’t been officially announced yet.
      So XR2+ is still Gen1

      • Bob

        Quest Pro successor will not have the same chip as the Quest 3. As hinted by Carmack at the previous Connect 2022 talk, Meta have partnered with Qualcomm specifically for designing and architecting a highly custom chip specifically for use in high-end Meta HMD devices. Both sides; Meta engineers and Qualcomm engineers are working on the chip.

        Not surprising considering that a few years ago Carmack did moan a little about not being to access the Snapdragon 800 series down to the metal to push for more performance and efficiency.

        He finally got his wish.

        • kontis

          a highly custom chip specifically for use in high-end Meta HMD devices.

          It’s NORMAL XR2 gen 2 that will be available for EVERYONE, but Qualcomm decided to listen to Meta when designing it (aka “customizing” it) instead of doing it on their own like they did with gen 1 and messed it up badly.

          (Carmack talked about some of the mistakes in XR2, eg. useless power hungry overheating gold core and degradation in API causing chromatic aberration correction to sue much more power than previously on the Go).

    • Dave

      Yes it’s clear Quest 3 will have the Snapdragon XR2 Gen2.

  • ApocalypseShadow

    Bring on the competition. The platform needs it. Since Facebook did a low-ball on pricing, that hurt others joining in to compete as they tried to corner the market with subsidization. Now, new headsets are coming and having a similar price of where Quest should have been in the first place.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I have a feeling the device HTC has been teasing the last couple of weeks (i think 2 photo’s now), will have the XR2+. Come on HTC stop teasing and just show the bugger, what are you waiting for?

    • Bob

      Given their track record and given your experience as an enthusiast participant within the comments section of VR-focused websites, I’m utterly surprised and somewhat shocked that your faith in HTC remains unwavering to this day. Perhaps the countless articles about HTC products and their constant over-hyping and under-delivering has flew right past you?

      HTC is almost as bad as Pimax in every single department except marketing. Good at assembling various off-the-shelf parts without actually doing the heavy lifting – advancing R&D in the field.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        To be honest, I don’t see anything wrong with my HTC Vive Pro (with wireless module) which delivered perfect VR for the time it was released. Looking at oculus/Meta I also see enough things why I still haven’t upgraded to the Quest 2 (or Rift back then), looking at the Valve Index is also a headset which has its flaws, just like the HP Reverb G2. There is no headset on the market that doesn’t have its negatives. BUT I also never upgraded to a Vive Pro 2/Cosmos as I also think those have flaws, but I do like to upgrade to a new (wireless) headset by now.
        I’m not a HTC enthousiast as I would buy another brand without hesitation, I just hope HTC will come out with a headset that is at least on par with the Pico 4 but better, but I’m realistic enough to know that won’t happen, certainly not for a price below $600-700. And with the Flow they missed the mark completely.

      • ViRGiN

        Well, HTC gave us a chuckle with their metaverse concept video with virtual hugging. Pimax doesn’t have marketing, just die-hard shills.

  • NL_VR

    feels late to the party… more interesting if more devices durin 2023 will have XR2 Gen 2 instead, or is it exclusive for Meta?

  • Martin Storm

    Unfortunately no. HTC is dying a slow death. Meta is the leader in every way I’m afraid. It’s not even close. Quest 2’s domination of Steam VR is a clear indication of this. They are buying up development studios as well.

    Startups eventually eat your lunch if you aren’t constantly innovating to the point of making your own tech/business obsolete.

    However, two things regarding Meta. One, they are attempting to do this very thing in a market that currently has almost zero competition for the next 2 years at the very least, and two, they are betting their very existence (and hence every dollar they have in their very deep coffers) on the notion that the virtual world is the next evolution of personal computing and lifestyle.

    The thing is, we don’t know that society will want this to the extent that Meta seems to think (or desire) it to be.

    This is Zuckerberg attempting to be the next Microsoft, but I wonder if virtual reality will take hold at all beyond games and a few niche applications. AR will put glasses on your face to do word processing. Group meetings in virtual places from varied locations across the globe coming together virtually makes sense, but it’s an application.

    Humans don’t want to be lost in the oasis long term. Society would collapse. At least the biological one anyway. It’s almost like loving family interaction will become something reserved only for the super rich in the future, and the rest of humanity will be locked up inside virtual worlds, cross eyed and drooling in the corner of whatever box they now reside in, with no furniture or possessions, and only a monthly scheduled Amazon delivery of liquified sustenance to be inserted (hopefully) orally, so as to maintain the biological component of the symbiotic organism required, for virtual economic stimulus.

    Then comes brain computer interfaces. At which point biological intelligence ceases to exist, and humanity dissappears as we know it. Just a glance at Moore’s law, and the progress of A.I. makes my hunch about 300 years tops before this biological experiment on this planet is over in its original form.

    Bottom line, in my opinion, is that the RATE of technological progress we will now experience from this point in history moving forward, will be faster than any consumer/profit model, or ideology turned economic, that we can think of. In much the same way Napster and the CD/DVD burner freed us from the RIAA and the rocket freed us from this planet, the digitization of biology will free us from everything that comes with the biological construct and we will hit a minimum intelligence threshold that no longer seeks purpose through consumption and other arbitrary endeavors, as those were only of value to a meat sack full of proteins, electricity and water.

    Not trying to be cold or scientific. I love people and would love it if we could all live in some utopian world, but I think the reason we can’t find anyone out in the universe is because biological intelligence doesn’t move outward into the universe, it digitizes itself, then moves inward, and once digital, moves closer and closer to ever greater efficiencies, to such an extent that its digital intelligence eventually deems the most efficient process of all, is no process in the first place, then proceeds to remove itself from existence so as to reach zero entropy, now having satisfied the ultimate intention of the universe.

    Yay! Wednesday morning rant! :D

    • ViRGiN

      dude… have you ever heard the definition of insanity?

  • ViRGiN

    Poor trolling.
    HTC is very praised among BUSINESS and ENTERPRISE customers.
    The REAL Quest 2 MURDERER (yes, not a killer, a mada-faka MURDERER) will be Pimax Crystal. Haven’t you seen the news? They announced EVERYTHING! Does Quest 2 supports NaTuRaLnEsS? No? Well pimax crystal does! Guys in un-tailored suits said so on a white background! I wish they turned down the voice volume, i wanted to listen to the music more.

  • The (DEVIL’s WAR) in the Ukrai

    Qualcomm ?

    Why the crazy numbering ?

    XR2 +

    Just call the new 4nm Chip the XR3 ( Unless they are working on the OFFICAL XR3 in the labs already )

    VR Headset makers ?

    Move ( ALL ) CPU/GPU processor units further back into the headbands/battery areas either in the back of the head, or side frame/rails of the headsets into upgradable CPU/GPU modules units for better weight distribution.

    The metal in the headband of these VR Headsets could be used for heat sinks.

    Or make BATTERY/CPU/GPU power pack shoulder packs, fanny packs worn on the belt, or back packs.

    Save the area up front ( Front visor of the VR Headsets ) for just optics.