Synaptics unveils new VR chip focusing on increased pixel density and foveated rendering

Computer chip manufacturer Synaptics has created a new ClearView VR chip optimized for foveated rendering and high-density HMD displays.

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As the market for VR systems continues to grow, so does the need for specialized hardware design and manufacturing. Synaptics, a major player in computer and smartphone hardware development, has just revealed its latest ClearView display chip, which aims to increase VR visual fidelity by aiming for 1,000 PPI and includes custom-tailored features focused on foveated rendering.

According to a press release from the company, Synaptics' new chip is called the ClearView R63455, and represents an "industry-first Foveal Transport Technology." The chips are optimized for 2K-per-eye displays running at 2160x2400 at 90hz, and through the VXR7200 VR Bridge will be able make use of the bandwidth available to DisplayPort 1.4 with both AMD and NVidia GPUs utilizing USB-C.

Huibert Verhoeven, Synaptics senior vice president and general manager in the IoT Division, said the new chips are meant to help carry VR HMD technology into the future.

“While virtual reality devices are becoming more common, issues remain with maintaining high-resolution graphics and avoiding motion sickness and the screen door effect. These display and connectivity issues can hinder even the best user experience, which is why Synaptics is focused on tackling these challenges for new generations of HMDs and a superior HMI experience."

There's no set time frame for when the latest Synaptics chips might be featured in VR headsets, but there's little doubt that the company is already showing off the new tech to all the biggest VR HMD manufacturers.

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From The Chatty

    • reply
      September 22, 2018 6:40 AM

      I'm confused here. What kind of chip is this? Synaptics doesn't make video processing chips as far as I know. Is this an interconnect or sensor fusion device? Or a retinal tracking chip or sensor? I thought Tobii was the big player in consumer eye tracking.

      • rms
        reply
        September 22, 2018 7:19 AM

        Looks like it contains all the circuitry from the input port to driving the display itself. All I can figure Foveal Transport Support means, is it takes input from a 3rd party sensor.

        • reply
          September 22, 2018 7:56 AM

          VR has suffered somewhat from needing high speed comms with the host to process sensor input. Hence DisplayLink. If Synaptics has a way to move foveal processing onto the headset, that would reduce latency and lower the cost and compute load on the host machine.

          Cool, if so. It could enable foveal rendering on high spec mobile phones or mid tier laptops. Not enough info to tell from this article.

      • reply
        September 22, 2018 8:16 AM

        From my reading it sounds like it is doing some sort of spacial packing. Foveated rendering is saving processing time on the GPU, but it is still sending a full 2D resolution image to the display. I think this thing is for saving bandwidth over the wire. Not 100% sure, though, it's confusing.