Next-Gen Microsoft HoloLens Rumored To Harness Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 ACPC Power

Rumors were circulating last summer that Microsoft was at work on a HoloLens 2 that was supposed to launch in Q1 2019. At the time, that rumor claimed the next HoloLens was supposed to be lighter, more comfortable, and have improved holographic displays. A new rumor circulating now claims that the next-generation device will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform.

small hololens up close

This chipset is not entirely new, and there are devices on the market already that use it including the Lenovo Yoga C630 and the Samsung Galaxy Book 2. Qualcomm was recently in the news for rolling out its Snapdragon 8cx chipset, and some might wonder why that won't be the SoC for the next-gen HoloLens. Word is the reasoning has to do with the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that the HoloLens relies so heavily on and the included AI coprocessor. Microsoft uses an Intel Atom processor in the current generation HoloLens' HPU.

What using the Snapdragon 850 does mean is that the new HoloLens will be always connected thanks to the Snapdragon 850's integrated Snapdragon X20 4G LTE modem. The Snapdragon X20 supports download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. Sadly, Microsoft used the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem in the Surface Pro and Surface Go and gimped the download speeds to 450Mbps, so there is no guarantee that because the X20 supports 1.2Gbps Microsoft will offer that speed. Microsoft's new HoloLens is being aimed mostly at enterprise users and in that group LTE connectivity is important because of additional security over what Wi-Fi networks can offer.

The downside to leaning on LTE is that in some usage scenarios coverage inside warehouses or other buildings can be poor at best. Neowin points out that since Windows Core OS is to be the OS for HoloLens, the performance of the Snapdragon 850 could improve over what we see in the Yoga C630 or Galaxy Book 2 because Windows Core OS ditches the legacy parts of Windows 10. Rumors now suggest that the new HoloLens will launch in Q2 2019.