Qualcomm, once the overlord of the communications industry. The Metaverse will promote the development of a series of industries in the future. Previously, 01 Blockchain wrote an article “Top 10 Metaverse Industries”, which described in detail the 10 industries that the Metaverse will drive, including the chip and communications industries. Qualcomm is an old player in this field, and naturally it will not let go of the Metaverse business. This article analyzes what layout Qualcomm has made in the Metaverse so far.
Qualcomm is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Diego, California and incorporated in Delaware.It provides semiconductors, software and services related to wireless technology, and it holds patents critical to the 5G, 4G, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA and WCDMA mobile communication standards.
Over the years, Qualcomm has expanded into the field of semiconductor product sales dominated by fabless manufacturing. It also develops semiconductor components or software for cars, watches, laptops, WiFi, smartphones and other devices.
Qualcomm actively deploys the Metaverse
In October 2021, Qualcomm hosted the 2021 Investor Conference. At the investor conference, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said that Qualcomm will be a leader in areas such as the Internet of Things and the Metaverse.
Qualcomm believes that Extended Reality (XR) is a “next-generation computing platform.” Qualcomm already has quite obvious technical advantages in this field. Today, more than 50 VR and AR devices powered by the Snapdragon platform have been released, including advanced devices from Meta and Microsoft. In addition, reference designs such as the Snapdragon XR1 headset have won many awards, and the Snapdragon XR2 platform has been named one of the best inventions of 2021 by Time magazine.
Time Magazine’s Evaluation of the Snapdragon XR2 Platform
Source: “Time” official website
The Metaverse requires a lot of data transfer and exchange. Achieving these goals requires an excellent network and RF front-end. These areas are Qualcomm’s old business. In the field of RF front-end, Qualcomm achieved its goal of being the first in the smartphone RF front-end market one year ahead of schedule, and Qualcomm is also actively expanding its RF front-end technology to other fields. In 2021, the cumulative shipment of Qualcomm RF front-end units will reach 8 billion. This data fully shows Qualcomm’s advantages and dominance in the field of RF front-end. The advantages in this field are believed to help Qualcomm’s layout in the Metaverse field in the future.
The Metaverse needs strong communication technology support. Qualcomm has leadership in fixed wireless access (FWA), Wi-Fi access point evolution and 5G RAN infrastructure. Among them, Wi-Fi 7 can further promote the wirelessization of products and accelerate the formation of the Metaverse. According to Qualcomm’s official website, its Wi-Fi 7 technology enhances the wireless experience and can support a range of services including extended reality (XR), social cloud-based games, 8K video streaming, and simultaneous video conferencing. 5G is also a means to improve data transmission. At present, more than 30 terminal manufacturers around the world are using Qualcomm’s 5G FWA solution, and Qualcomm’s 5G RAN platform can improve energy efficiency by 50%.
On December 1, 2021, the 2021 Snapdragon Technology Summit will be held. At the meeting, the Internet of Everything and the Metaverse were words that appeared frequently. Cristiano Amon said that Qualcomm’s leadership in the mobile field is creating new opportunities for the edge of the intelligent network. Qualcomm has the key technologies to develop the Metaverse. No matter what form the Metaverse develops, Qualcomm’s technology can support manufacturers to realize this vision. Taking smart glasses as an example, the performance and power consumption of such small smart products are very important, so Qualcomm will fundamentally improve the way of developing IP to ensure the highest processing power with the lowest power consumption.
During the 2021 Snapdragon Technology Summit, Qualcomm launched the first-generation Snapdragon G3x gaming platform. The market generally believes that the Metaverse will be popularized in the game industry first, and games will be the best window to connect the virtual world and the real world. The Metaverse in “Ready Player One”, the best interpretation of the Metaverse, also appears in the form of a game. The Snapdragon G3x supports running all Android games and various cloud game content, and can play games on the game console or PC through streaming technology. It can be seen that the Snapdragon G3x is a key step taken by Qualcomm in the field of gaming.
The Metaverse Future is a big cake. Qualcomm obviously will not give up the relevant market. And Gaotong often has unparalleled advantages in the fields of communication and device chips. And this will also be the key for Qualcomm to open the Metaverse market.
Qualcomm partners with Microsoft to develop AR/VR
On January 4, 2022, Qualcomm announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022) that it will cooperate with Microsoft. Microsoft and Qualcomm will jointly develop customized Snapdragon chips for use in AR glasses, further increasing the support for Microsoft Mesh platform and Qualcomm. The support of Qualcomm Snapdragon spaces, the two major AR development platforms for consumers and enterprises to use Metaverse applications, further promotes the Microsoft Metaverse ecosystem. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amonno said that in the future, this AR device can achieve realistic projection. Even users who are far apart can feel like they are in the same room. The two companies will work together to develop custom chips that integrate software that developers can use to create virtual worlds where users can work and play. For years, Qualcomm has been discussing the possibility of a large-scale application of wearable AR devices.
Qualcomm said that in addition to the cooperation in equipment and facilities, the two parties will also produce the software required by the Metaverse to allow people to use digital identities to work, play and play in the Metaverse. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces Extended Reality XR developer platform will be integrated with Microsoft Mesh, a virtual reality interactive platform, and used with Microsoft augmented reality AR smart headsets. Users can transfer their virtual dolls to another user’s device. It feels like two people are talking in the same space. Future hardware will also use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces software to help perform basic AR functions, such as drawing physical spaces to overlay digital objects on, and hand tracking so users can manipulate those digital objects with gestures.
In fact, as early as 2021, Microsoft’s mixed reality headset HoloLens 2 already uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chip.Qualcomm has also laid out AR/VR-related chips early on, such as the Snapdragon extended reality XR2 chip used in smartphones.
XR is the end platform of the Metaverse
On September 13, 2021, Qualcomm established the XR (Extended Reality) Industry Investment Alliance. 23 investment institutions including Hillhouse Capital and Tencent Investment joined as the first members. The XR Industry Investment Alliance will focus on XR innovation and entrepreneurship projects with high development and potential, and help members improve the investment efficiency in the XR field. Guo Peng, head of Qualcomm XR in China, said that it is expected that the compound growth rate of XR equipment sales will reach 70% in 2024. If the average price of the equipment is more than 500 US dollars, the hardware sales will reach 31 billion US dollars, plus software, algorithms and content. With the development of ecology, the income of the entire XR industry will increase by several orders of magnitude in the future. Qualcomm hopes to accelerate the maturity of XR industrialization through the power of ecological synergy.
On January 13, 2022, Qualcomm held a venture capital media communication meeting. At the meeting, Shen Jin, global vice president of Qualcomm and managing director of Qualcomm Ventures China, said that Qualcomm believes that XR is the terminal platform of the Metaverse. Compared with the past, the XR experience has been greatly improved.
Qualcomm has always been very concerned about the XR industry. Qualcomm’s R&D investment and strategic investment in XR can be traced back to eight or nine years ago. Many XR-related devices today are equipped with the Snapdragon XR platform. In November 2021, Qualcomm also released the Snapdragon Spaces XR developer platform, allowing developers to create XR-related applications on this platform. Qualcomm believes that through the new computing platform, XR terminals will support many new applications, including enterprise-level applications and consumer-level applications.
Metaverse Brings More Opportunities to Industry
On February 5, 2022, Cristiano Amon said in an interview with CNBC that the Metaverse will bring huge opportunities for manufacturing. The Metaverse will create huge opportunities in gaming, but also huge opportunities in industry. He emphasized the potential of the Metaverse beyond entertainment and social use, as cloud computing is gaining popularity in the corporate world. Since everything will be connected to the cloud, everything will have its own digital twin (Digital Twin), such as a car, when someone wants to open the hood of the car to check, they can put on an MR device, this one The device will tell you what’s wrong and needs to be repaired through the car’s digital clone in the cloud. And the device can actually be used for employee training as well.
Huang Renxun, founder of another international chip design giant, Nvidia, expressed a similar view. Huang Renxun believes that companies will invest in the Metaverse because the Metaverse can be used to simulate the real world, thereby saving companies the cost of the real world.
Launch of the Metaverse Fund
On March 21, 2022, Qualcomm announced that it will set up a $100 million Snapdragon Metaverse fund and launch the Snapdragon Space XR developer platform. The Snapdragon Metaverse Fund will invest in companies researching XR experiences and related AR and artificial intelligence technologies. The fund will deploy capital through a combination of Qualcomm Ventures’ venture capital investments in leading XR companies and a grant program from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to fund the developer ecosystem of XR experiences in gaming, health and wellness, media, entertainment and more , educational and corporate partnership opportunities.
Qualcomm hopes to accelerate the development of the Metaverse content ecosystem. To help developers, creators and companies more easily create immersive 3D content, Qualcomm said it will also launch the “Snapdragon Space” XR developer platform. Qualcomm has deep cooperation with Meta, Microsoft, Snap, Lenovo and other big companies in this field, which can help creators create better XR content.
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