LAS VEGAS -- We now know whose processor is going to power one of the most-anticipated virtual-reality headsets of the year. Today (Jan. 8) at Qualcomm's CES 2018 press conference here, Facebook vice president of VR Hugo Barra took the stage to announce that the upcoming Oculus Go headset will utilize the chipmaker's Snapdragon 821 CPU.
"We've worked very closely with Qualcomm to make sure we have the ideal combination of high performance and power efficiency we need for Oculus Go," Barra said.
Barra also announced that the Oculus Go hardware is being developed by Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi. Xiaomi VP Thomas Tang took the stage and announced that his company will be releasing its own version of the Oculus Go.
Dubbed the Mi VR Standalone, this China-only headset uses exactly the same hardware and design as the Oculus Go. It will also run Oculus apps, but the software will be customized for Chinese users. Tang boasted that his company's headset would allow Oculus developers to reach the Chinese market.
Announced in October, the Oculus Go is a wireless, standalone headset that bridges the gap between pricey PC-powered VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and less expensive mobile-phone-dependent headsets like the Samsung Gear VR. The Oculus Go is expected to launch later this year for $199.
Longer-Lasting Headphones with the QCC5100
In addition to its partnership with Facebook Oculus, Qualcomm also announced its new audio SoC for earbuds, the QCC5100. Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said that the QCC5100 uses 65 percent less power than the chips that power the leading wireless headsets today. With that kind of power reduction, you can get about 60 percent more talk time, he claimed.
The company did not announce any partners that will use the QCC5100.
Qualcomm Hits the Road
Qualcomm is also expanding its presence in the auto industry. Amon announced that the company's chips will power the infotainment / telematics systems in new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. It will also provide 4G modems for the 2018 Honda Accord and processors for the infotainment setup in BYD's 2019 electric cars.
Corrections: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated in the headline that the Oculus Go will be powered by the Snapdragon 820; it's the Snapdragon 821.