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Snapdragon 845 CPU to power next generation standalone VR?

High-end VR is hard. VR is hard to develop and hard to use. To enjoy a high-end VR experience, I need cables, a gaming PC, sensors and sometimes a computer science degree to setup. VR is certainly not as easy as picking up a phone or tablet and just using it.

Hence the need for pick up and use VR. Sure, we have Gear VR and the various clones, but that is hardly high-end. The device requires the insertion of a phone with limited battery life.

Oculus and others are working on standalone VR with six degrees of freedom. The standalone headset will have no need for cables, sensors or a gaming PC.
Oculus is rumored to release a stand alone VR headset next year. The Snapdragon 835 CPU could be a good candidate for the new VR headset.

The CPU to power these headsets will certainly need to be a mobile beast. Qualcomm is the current leader in mobile CPUs with their Snapdragon 835 CPU powering most high-end phones today, including the Samsung S8.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Specs at a glance


Production process: 10nm (nanometre)
CPU Clock Speed: Up to 2.45 GHz
CPU Cores: 8x Qualcomm Kryo 280 CPU
CPU Bit Architecture: 64-bit


GPU Name: Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU
API Support: OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full, Vulkan, DX12


4K Ultra HD, Up to 4K
UI FPS: Up to 60 FPS
Color Depth: Up to 10-bit
Color Gamut: Rec2020
Standards: ULTRA HD PREMIUM-ready

What is next from Qualcomm?

As powerful as the Snapdragon 835 is, VR needs as much CPU and GPU as you can throw at it. Qualcomm's next chip, rumored to be the Snapdragon 845 CPU moves the production process from 10 nm on the 835 to 7 nm on the 845. However, this is rumored at this point. Moving to a different manufacturing process is very expensive and requires retooling of factories. In all likelihood, the 845 will remain at 10 nm.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Specs at a glance (Rumored)


Production process: 7nm - 10 nm (nanometer)
CPU Clock Speed: Up to ?? GHz
CPU Cores: 8 cores (Four Cortex A75, paired with four low powered A53)
CPU Bit Architecture: 64-bit


GPU Name: Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU
API Support: OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full, Vulkan, DX12

There is also UFS 2.1 storage and LPDDR4X memory, which should improve performance and efficiency.

Timeing of the Snapdragon 845 CPU

Since Samsung and other high-end phones already contain the 835. They will be looking into incorporating the 845 into their high-end phones next year. Samsung typically releases their high-end phones in April. Therefore we can expect devices containing the 845 CPU to start to arrive end of Q1 to early Q2 2018.

The timing of the 845 chip early next year combined with the need for as much processing power and battery savings as possible makes it very likely the first stand alone VR headset from Oculus will be powered by the Snapdragon 845.