AMD HAS PICKED UP the intellectual property relating to virtual reality (VR) technology from Nitero, a company behind the development of wireless VR and augmented reality (AR) headsets.
Monday's announcement comes as AMD prepares to launch a slew of new graphics cards based upon its new Vega architecture, manufactured on the 14nm FinFET process. VR capabilities are a key selling point of next-generation GPUs and graphics cards, with AMD bidding to catch-up with the lead established by rival Nvidia over the past year with its 10-series GPUs.
The Nitero technology acquisition by AMD will therefore enable the company to take a different tack.
"Unwieldly headset cables remain a significant barrier to drive widespread adoption of virtual reality," said Mark Papermaster, AMD chief technology officer and senior vice president.
"Our newly acquired wireless VR technology is focused on solving this challenge, and is another example of AMD making long-term technology investments to develop high-performance computing and graphics technologies that can create more immersive computing experiences."
Nitero claims to have designed what it describes as a "phased-array beam-forming millimetre wave chip" to address the challenges facing wireless VR and AR.
Using high-performance 60GHz wireless, the technology has the potential to enable PCs to transmit multi-gigabit streams to headsets with low latency in room-scale VR environments.
The beam-forming characteristics solve the requirement for line-of-sight associated with traditional high-frequency millimetre-wave systems, potentially eliminating wired VR headsets and enabling users to become more easily immersed in virtual and augmented worlds.
"Our world-class engineering team has been focused on solving the difficult problem of building wireless VR technologies that can be integrated into next-generation headsets," said Nitero co-founder and CEO Pat Kelly, who has joined AMD as corporate vice president in charge of wireless IP. µ
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