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Meta’s chip deal with Qualcomm may reflect unrealized VR ambitions

Qualcomm and Meta are committed to teaming up on a custom version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR chip for a “future roadmap of Quest products” and “other devices,” as Mark Zuckerberg put it, over the next few years. signed the contract.

In some respects, the move is business as usual (the Quest 2 is powered by the Snapdragon XR2 chipset), but facing declining revenues and Meta’s efforts to contain the burgeoning costs of Mark’s Metaverse project. It might offer some insight into the trade-offs. .

The deal with Qualcomm indicates that Meta’s upcoming headsets will reportedly include a high-end headset codenamed Cambria, followed by a new version of the cheaper Quest headset. but it won’t work on fully customized Meta designed silicon.

This is despite competitors such as Apple, Amazon and Google making product decisions on custom chip designs such as M2, Graviton3 and Tensor. Meta has the fact that he has had a team dedicated to doing the same thing since 2018. According to the press release, the chips can be “customized” to suit the needs of the meta. Still, I’m not sure how much space can be put between a “premium” device and hardware from other manufacturers that stick to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR reference design.

in April, The Barge Meta employees reported that they are working with a semiconductor fab (the company that actually makes the physical chips) to create a custom chip for the yet-to-be-announced AR headset. same month, information Some of Meta’s efforts to create custom chips have hit a roadblock, forcing them to use Qualcomm chips in their second-generation Ray-Bay smart glasses instead of proprietary silicon.

Qualcomm Reference Design for Wired and Wireless Smart Glasses

Qualcomm Reference Design for Wired and Wireless Smart Glasses
Qualcomm

Meta spokesman Tyler Yee said the company would not elaborate on how the roadmap evolved, nor would it comment on specific plans for custom chips in Quest products. However, Yee shared a statement about the company’s “custom his general approach to silicon” and said Meta does not believe in a “one-size-fits-all approach” to the technology that powers future devices. I was.

‚ÄúThere may be situations where we explore our own new silicon solutions, using off-the-shelf silicon or working with industry partners to customize. We use both partner and custom solutions in the same product. There may be scenarios where we do,” he said. “It’s all about doing what it takes to create the best metaverse he can experience.”

Behind all of this is a company facing many pressures. Meta’s revenue dropped for the first time (partly because he and Apple changed how apps track users). Zuckerberg articulated his plans to add heat to his employees, admitting: This place is not for you. And that self-selection is fine with me. The company spends and loses billions of dollars a year on projects involving AR and VR headsets.

This is a high stakes game that the meta wants to play as close to their chest as possible.But for now, it looks like hardware customers will have access to Zuckerberg’s metaverse. beat saber) will continue to be driven by someone else’s chip.

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