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Meta and Qualcomm strike deal to make custom virtual reality chips

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Facebook parent Meta and Qualcomm will work on making virtual reality chips for various metaverse applications.

Ercin Erturk | Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Meta and Qualcomm are teaming as much as develop custom chipsets for virtual reality products, the businesses announced on Friday.

The 2 U.S. technology giants have signed a multi-year agreement “to collaborate on a latest era of spatial computing,” using Qualcomm’s “prolonged reality” (XR) Snapdragon technology. Prolonged reality refers to technologies including virtual and augmented reality, which merge the physical and digital world.

“We’re working with Qualcomm Technologies on customized virtual reality chipsets — powered by Snapdragon XR platforms and technology — for our future roadmap of Quest products,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said in a press release.

The Quest products are Meta’s line of virtual reality headsets. The Meta Quest 2 headset currently uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chipset.

Since its rebrand in 2021, Facebook-parent Meta has staked its future on the metaverse — a term that encompasses virtual and augmented reality technology — with the aim of getting people working and playing in digital worlds within the near future.

Within the smartphone field, corporations starting from Apple to Samsung have designed their very own custom processors to distinguish from competitors and create higher products than they may need using off-the-shelf chips.

A deal with custom chips by Meta is sensible because it looks to distinguish its headsets and possibly create unique experiences for users.

“Unlike mobile phones, constructing virtual reality brings novel, multi-dimensional challenges in spatial computing, cost, and form factor,” Zuckerberg said. “These chipsets will help us keep pushing virtual reality to its limits and deliver awesome experiences.”

The length of the deal between the businesses and financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

It comes as Meta gears as much as launch a latest virtual reality headset in October, whilst losses widened in its Reality Labs division, which incorporates its VR business, within the second quarter of the 12 months.

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