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Early this year, we reported about a job posting by a Qualcomm engineer on LinkedIn that confirmed that the Snapdragon processor is in testing for various Windows 10 on ARM applications, including HoloLens. Today, Neowin reported that HoloLens vNext will be based on Snapdragon 850 mobile platform, which was announced in June this year. Unlike the new Snapdragon 8cx platform, the Snapdragon 850 offers modest performance gains over its predecessor. Qualcomm claims that Snapdragon 850 offers 30 percent increase in performance and up to 3X AI performance over the previous generation, as well as up to 1.2 gigabits per second LTE connectivity speeds.
But according to many reviews of Windows devices running Snapdragon 850, the performance delivered by the processor is not up to the mark. Microsoft selecting Snapdragon 850 as its compute platform for HoloLens vNext is really surprising to me. As per various reports, Microsoft will only release HoloLens vNext in the second half of 2019. By that time, Snapdragon 850 will be really outdated. Also, when Qualcomm has its own dedicated mobile compute platform for XR devices, I really don’t understand why Microsoft would go with Snapdragon 850. In June, Engadget reported that HoloLens vNext will be powered by the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor. We now have two contradicting reports on the processor that will power the HoloLens vNext!
There are few things we already know the HoloLens vNext. It will have an improved Holographic Processing Unit with more AI capabilities, and an improved Kinect-like depth camera. Microsoft is reportedly bringing development of the lenses internally to achieve this at a reasonable cost. I hope Microsoft starts talking about HoloLens vNext soon to maintain the developer interest. We are already seeing MagicLeap and others attracting the mindshare HoloLens had all these years.