Metaverse

Qualcomm, Meta sign multi-year deal for chips for metaverse devices

Gelo Gonzales
Qualcomm, Meta sign multi-year deal for chips for metaverse devices

QUALCOMM. A Qualcomm sign is pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019

Aly Song/Reuters

Meta's current headset, the Quest 2, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2

MANILA, Philippines – Chipmaker Qualcomm announced on Friday, September 2, during its keynote at Germany trade fair IFA 2022, a “multi-year broad strategic agreement” with Meta and its lineup of Quest virtual reality and extended reality devices. 

Under the agreement, Qualcomm is expected to produce chipsets that would power Meta’s virtual reality devices and applications. The agreement is an extension of a partnership that’s already over 7 years old, which culminated in October 2020’s commercial release of the Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus Quest 2) powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2. 

Qualcomm is known for its range of Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets for smartphones.

The Meta Quest 2 has enjoyed some success, shipping about 15 million units in the nearly two years that it has been available, thanks to a relatively consumer-friendly price tag of $299 – which observers believe that Meta is selling at a loss. The headsets are a key part of Meta’s significant push for the immersive virtual world known as the metaverse, with a more expensive “Project Cambria” headset that’s expected to arrive in the not-so-distant future. 

Prior to the Qualcomm announcement, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was met with derision after showing off his digital avatar from the Meta Quest 2 app Horizon Worlds that featured what many considered to be simplistic, dated graphics. Critics have also questioned the company’s big investments of more than $10 billion into the project when concerns such as disinformation, online harm translating into real-world harm, and a business model reliant on collecting personal data remain on Facebook and Instagram.

“By partnering with Meta, we are bringing together two of the world’s metaverse leaders to revolutionize the future of computing for billions of people in the coming years,” said Cristiano Amon, president and chief executive officer, Qualcomm. “Building off our joint leadership in XR, this agreement will allow our companies to deliver best-in-class devices and experiences to transform how we work, play, learn, create and connect in a fully realized metaverse.”

“As we continue to build more advanced capabilities and experiences for virtual and augmented reality, it has become more important to build specialized technologies to power our future VR headsets and other devices. Unlike mobile phones, building virtual reality brings novel, multi-dimensional challenges in spatial computing, cost, and form factor. These chipsets will help us keep pushing virtual reality to its limits and deliver awesome experiences,” said Zuckerberg. – Rappler.com

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.