A new generation chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR3 has joined the Snapdragon family according to a leaked supply chain report. The leaks allude that the chip can run 4K by 4K resolution per eye. A pixel density that is revolutionary in standalone VR headsets once limited to PC VR headsets.
Here is everything you need to know about the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR3 processor.
Snapdragon XR3 is an 8-core chipset and the successor to the Snapdragon XR2. Similar to all Snapdragon XR chips, XR3 is a ‘System on Chip‘, meaning that all computing is in a closed infrastructure. SoC chipsets are ideal for VR headsets as they are more energy efficient, faster, and produce less heat.
Based on supply chain reports by VR leaker Samulia, Snapdragon XR3 is codenamed “Project Halliday”, referencing the seminal virtual reality book Ready Player One.
It is unclear whether the Project Halliday chip is the Gen 2 of the Snapdragon XR2 processor or the new XR3, but in any case, it will become the next leading chipset for standalone VR headsets.
Snapdragon XR3, in one sentence, means jaw-dropping visual fidelity and graphical performance.
In a leaked supply chain transaction related to Snapdragon XR3, the chip will run dual 4k x 4k resolution displays. This is significant as it will enable standalone VR headsets to inch closer to a realistic visual performance. For example, a VR headset with dual 4K displays will achieve 36,5 pixels per degree (PPD) per eye in a headset with a 105° Field of View. For context, our eyes see the world in 60-70 PPD, and the best visuals in a standalone VR headset today is the Pico 4 with 20,6 PPD per eye. It may not sound like a big difference, but truly it is.
Below is a breakdown of the most popular VR headsets on the market and their PPD per eye.
Tethered PC VR
Tethered PC VR
Meta Quest Pro
Pixels Per Degree per eye
27 to 71
The leaked supply chain records also referenced the new Adreno GPU named 740 will be paired with the XR3 chip. A graphical unit we still don’t know the performance of. However, the Adreno GPU in Meta Quest Pro is 650, which delivers 1.3 teraflops, while the GPU in the upcoming Quest 3 will be the Adreno 730 with 2.4 teraflops. In short, we should expect leaps and bounds in performance for the new Adreno 740 GPU.
Lastly, Snapdragon XR3 will support the current best type of RAM called LPDDR5 and the future LPDDR5X.
At this point, it is difficult to say. However, as the new Snapdragon XR3 will be compatible with WiFi 7 for improved streaming, we should expect the new SoC processor by 2024, as WiFi 7 isn’t ready until then.
As always, we will update this article once new leaks and information are available.
Jakob Pii is Writer at VR Expert and currently lives in the UK. He started his career in VR gaming in 2015 and has stayed in XR since, from exposure therapy in VR to 360-degree video documentaries. He is fascinated by how emerging technologies change how we live, play and work.