Meta has found a new partner for its custom AR chip development. At the same time, Meta’s head of AR software is leaving the company.
At MediaTek Summit 2023, Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek and Meta announced a partnership to jointly develop a chip for Meta’s upcoming AR glasses, reports Android Central.
MediaTek vice president Vincent Hu emphasized that this is an exclusive partnership, meaning that other manufacturers and competitors will not have access to the chip.
Jean Boufarhat, vice president of Reality Labs, said new chips need to be developed for AR glasses to become a reality. They would need to be powerful, have low power consumption and latency, and have a compact design. MediaTek is a key partner in making that happen, Boufarhat said.
Meta’s head of AR software is stepping down
Meta has been working on its own chips for many years, but reportedly with little success. There are probably two reasons why Meta is looking for new partners besides Qualcomm: First, Meta wants to become less dependent on Qualcomm, whose chips are used in Meta Quest and Meta Smartglasses, and second, Meta wants to develop processors that are exclusive to its own devices, which could give the company a competitive advantage in the long run.
Meta has also suffered setbacks in software development in recent years: in 2022, the company disbanded a large team that was working on the development of its own operating system XR. A project that aimed to create an XR alternative to Google’s Android.
Now Reuters reports that Meta’s head of AR software Don Box has stepped down from his role. In a statement, Meta writes that Box has left the company for personal reasons and that nothing has changed in Meta’s product roadmap.
According to a report, the launch of Meta’s first true AR glasses is set for 2027. More than half of all Reality Labs spending goes into research and development of AR technology.
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