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Qualcomm squints at virtual reality with Snapdragon 820 SDK

Holy jiggling gyroscopes, Batman! That phone can take you to another dimension!

Qualcomm has its eyes on virtual reality, and is getting ready to release a VR SDK for its Snapdragon 820 processor.

Power management is a key part of the development kit, because as Qualcomm points out in its announcement, the mobile platforms that use processors like the Snapdragon 820 are power-constrained.

The VR SDK is integrated with the company's Symphony System Manager SDK, which handles CPU, GPU and DSP power and performance management. This, the chip designer says, means systems will get better power management while maintaining stable frame rates.

The SDK helps developers combine high-frequency inertial data from gyroscopes and accelerometers, and there's what the company calls “predictive head position processing” based on its Hexagon DSP.

“Single buffer rendering” cuts down the latency between movement and vision (Qualcomm calls this “fast motion to photon”), and the SDK supports stereoscopic rendering with lens correction, colour correction, and barrel distortion.

Layering of overlays like menus and text are built into the SDK to devs don't have to worry about distortions that would make them hard to read.

The SDK will be pushed to the Qualcomm developer network in the second quarter of 2016. ®

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