The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

Qualcomm has landed on the beach, and other giants are struggling to catch up.

Unexpectedly, as the most radical advocate and the most powerful leader of the concept of “Metaverse”, there will be a day to admit defeat.

According to recent reports from foreign media, in view of the limitations of the development cycle and difficulty, thetechnology giant Meta has officially abandoned its plan to “use self-developed chips in the second-generation Ray-Ban AR smart glasses”, and instead chose to continue with “old partners” Qualcomm cooperation.

Meike.com noticed that at present, whether it is Meta’s first-generation AR smart glasses Ray Ban Stories, video chat device Portal, or the Oculus Quest series of VR devices that became popular around the world last year and sold tens of millions of sets, there are no One is not the use of Qualcomm chips .

The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

It is reported that Meta originally hoped to create a customized chip similar to Microsoft’s Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) through this self-developed chip program code-named “Barsilia”, and first in the second-generation Ray-Ban AR Smart glasses test the waters. But from the current situation, the road to self-developed chips is far more difficult than Meta expected. In order to reduce the impact on the on-time shipment of the second-generation Ray-Ban AR smart glasses, Meta had to choose “a strong man to break his wrist”, and its plan to imitate Apple to create an M1 chip to get rid of excessive dependence on chip manufacturers can only be temporarily announced.

The reporter noticed that with the huge waves of the “Metaverse” and the fear of “chip shortages” in the real world, the value of chips is being paid more and more attention by the technology industry: technology giants such as Meta and Apple are trying to pass “Self-developed and self-sold” to reduce costs and create better XR products; however, chip giants such as Qualcomm, who have a firm grasp of the market, are voluntarily or forced to join the chase.

1. “Metaverse” has heated up the XR track, and Qualcomm is trying to “winner takes all”

In 2021, under the dual influence of the new crown epidemic and the widespread popularization of the concept of “Metaverse “, the sales of Meta’s Oculus Quest series exceeded 10 million, and almost single-handedly made VR equipment regain the attention of the general public, but there is a certain meaning. On the other hand, Qualcomm, which provides chips for “explosive models”, is the real big winner.

Looking back to 2015, which is called the “first year of VR”, the entry of giants such as HTC, Samsung and Sony has heated up this track that has been silent for many years, and various VR devices from large and small factories have sprung up like mushrooms after rain. It came out, but what was embarrassing at that time was that there was almost no chip on the market that was solely dedicated to VR devices, and everyone could only choose to replace it with a mobile phone chip. It is also under this wide-ranging demand that Qualcomm smells new opportunities.

The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

Figure | XR equipment evolution prediction

In the same year, Qualcomm officially laid out the field of XR (referred to here as the general term for VR, AR, and MR).Although the VR consumer market is quickly “cold”, Qualcomm has shown the determination that chip giants should have. In 2018 and 2019, it launched the first chip dedicated to the XR field, the Snapdragon XR1 , and the first chip. The Snapdragon XR2, which supports 5G connectivity, also makes it one of the few giants on the market that can provide chips for XR devices.

Doing business is all about patience, and the same applies to the chip market. When the tide of the “Metaverse” hit, the XR equipment track was “resurrected”, allowing major manufacturers to restart their investment in this direction, and Qualcomm, which has paved the way for many years, has naturally eaten most of the market. At present, Qualcomm XR series chips have been widely used in mainstream XR devices such as Oculus Quest, Pico, Qiyu Dream VR and HTC Vive Flow.

The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

Although half of the current XR chip track has been firmly established, Qualcomm’s ambitions don’t stop there.Qualcomm, which intends to “winner takes all”, is showing the side of vertical and horizontal integration: at the beginning of this year, Qualcomm held Microsoft with its left hand to jointly expand and accelerate the application of AR in consumer and enterprise markets; its right hand grasped ByteDance and jointly developed XR equipment and software to realize a global XR ecosystem; at the same time, the Snapdragon Cosmos Fund with a total amount of up to 100 million US dollars was established to invest in developers and enterprises that build XR technology experiences and related AI technologies – Qualcomm intends to penetrate into The upstream and downstream of the entire industrial chain.

However, in the face of such an imaginative market, will other chip manufacturers really choose to turn a blind eye?

2. The battle of the gods among chip giants has begun, but it is not limited to hardware

According to the forecast of Counterpoint, a third-party research organization, XR headset shipments are expected to exceed 100 million units in 2025, a ten-fold increase compared to 2021.

Citibank’s forecast is even more macro: by 2030, the total number of users of the Metaverse will reach 5 billion, and the total addressable market size of the Metaverse economy may be between $8 trillion and $13 trillion.

The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

Therefore, although Qualcomm has a high-level layout first, the temptation of the “Metaverse” is so great that chip giants such as Nvidia, Intel, and AMD, who are one step behind, have also started the “War of the Gods” from different angles. .

At the NVIDIA GTC Technology Summit in November last year, Huang Renxun issued a heavy news: NVIDIA is fully moving towards the “Metaverse” direction, and its newly released To B-side real-time simulation and collaboration platform “Omniverse” is positioned as an “engineer” At the same time, the NVIDIA product line has been upgraded to the “three-core” strategy of “GPU+CPU+DPU”, and the intention is to rely on the previous technical advantages to exert force on the hardware bottom layer of the “Metaverse” , and said, “Metaverse” “It could in reality save hundreds of billions of dollars for partner companies.

The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

Also in November last year, Nvidia’s old rival AMD announced a partnership with Meta: In order to meet the huge demand for data centers and computing power after Meta’s transformation from “social media” to a “Metaverse” company, AMD will provide its data centers. Self-developed EYPC server chip in order to provide the underlying hardware support for Meta to enter the Metaverse.

And Intel, which has been in poor condition in recent years, also hopes to get a share of this wave. Song Jiqiang, president of Intel China Research Institute, said in a recent interview with the media, “The Metaverse needs the support of the underlying digital facilities, especially the technical support of computing + network + storage. Intel’s goal is to integrate the underlying application layer, computing power According to Titanium Media, Intel is currently working on the layout of the underlying algorithms and application technologies of the “Metaverse”, and has carried out related software algorithms including “Virtual Digital Humans”, AI vision algorithms, etc., as well as cooperation with Partners work together to define relevant rules and so on.

3. The chip will be the “hourglass” for the countdown to the coming of the Metaverse, and there is not much time left for the giants

In the phenomenon-level AAA game masterpiece “Cyberpunk 2077”, a story set in the future “Metaverse” revolves around chips: in a world dominated by various chips, the protagonist V is forced to Implanted with a relic chip with a soul imprint, and Johnny Silverhand, whose consciousness was forcibly copied into the chip, started a journey of survival. And at the end of the game, you are faced with the ultimate choice: whether to keep the body, the short-term and the loved one survive; get immortality?

The Metaverse is pressing step by step, leaving little time for chip giants

Raja Koduri, chief architect of Intel, believes that the ideal “Metaverse” should be a new generation of computing platform that can meet the real-time access of billions of people and provide everyone with an online image with realistic clothing, hair and skin color. . But existing computing, storage, and networking infrastructure is not enough to realize this vision, and to achieve a truly long-lasting immersive experience, computing efficiency needs to be 1,000 times more efficient than today’s state-of-the-art . “It may be decades before we actually live in the Metaverse,” he said.

But no matter what, the chip is becoming the dominant force in the “Metaverse”. Maybe 2077, maybe earlier, one day there will be a chip that will become the decisive product-determining the future direction of the “Metaverse” and who can eat this trillion-dollar market .

This article is from the WeChat public account “Magke.com” (ID: im2maker) , author: Wang Satuan

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-metaverse-is-pressing-step-by-step-leaving-little-time-for-chip-giants/
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