Qualcomm Shows Support For VR Development With Snapdragon 820 VR SDK

GDC kicks off today with the virtual reality portion of the conference, VRDC, and we’re bound to see many VR-related announcements over the next few days. Qualcomm appears to be the first out the gate with its announcement of a VR SDK, specifically for the company’s Snapdragon 820 SOC that will power several android phones this year.

Qualcomm said its Snapdragon 820 VR SDK is being created to help software developers create better immersive experiences, and that the SDK will “simplify development” and help “attain improved performance and power efficiency with the Snapdragon 820.”

"We're providing advanced tools and technologies to help developers significantly improve the virtual reality experience for applications like games, 360 degree VR videos and a variety of interactive education and entertainment applications," said Dave Durnil, senior director, engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "VR represents a new paradigm for how we interact with the world, and we're excited to help mobile VR developers more efficiently deliver compelling and high-quality experiences on upcoming Snapdragon 820 VR-capable Android smartphones and headsets."

Qualcomm said that the Snapdragon 820 VR SDK will support several new technologies that it said are “crucial for an optimal VR user experience.”

  • DSP Sensor Fusion: Lets developers access the “gyroscopes and accelerometers via the Snapdragon Sensor Core and predictive head position processing with the Qualcomm® Hexagon™ DSP.”
  • Fast Motion to Photon: reduces latency by as much as 50% by using asynchronous time warp with single buffer rendering
  • Stereoscopic Rendering with Lens Correction: 3D binocular vision with color correction and barrel distortion.
  • VR Layering: reduces distortions in menus, text and overlays to make them easier to read in virtual reality.
  • Power Management: Power and performance management integrated into Qualcomm Symphony System Manager SDK for improved efficiency of the CPU, GPU and DSP.

The Snapdragon VR SDK should be available in the second quarter of 2016 from the Qualcomm Developer Network.

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.