Facebook’s parent company Meta and Qualcomm will work on creating virtual reality chips for various metaverse applications.

Erchin Ertürk | Anatolian Agency | Anatolian Agency | Getty Images

Meta and Qualcomm are teaming up to develop custom chipsets for virtual reality products, the companies announced Friday.

The two US tech giants signed a multi-year agreement “to collaborate in a new era of spatial computing” using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon “augmented reality” (XR) technology. Augmented reality refers to technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, that bring together the physical and digital worlds.

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

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

After rebranding in 2021, Facebook’s parent company Meta has staked its future on the metaverse — a term that covers virtual and augmented reality technology — with the goal of people working and playing in digital worlds in the near future.

In the smartphone space, companies ranging from Apple to Samsung have designed their own custom processors to differentiate themselves from competitors and create better products than they could have using off-the-shelf chips.

The focus on custom chips from Meta makes sense as it seeks to differentiate its headsets and potentially create unique experiences for users.

“Unlike mobile phones, building virtual reality brings new, multidimensional challenges in spatial computing, cost and form factor,” Zuckerberg said. “These chipsets will help us continue to push virtual reality to its limits and deliver great experiences.”

The length of the deal between the companies and the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It comes as Meta prepares to launch a new virtual reality headset in October, although losses widened at the Reality Labs division, which includes its VR business, in the second quarter of the year.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/02/meta-and-qualcomm-strike-deal-to-make-custom-virtual-reality-chips.html

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