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posted by martyb on Tuesday April 11 2017, @02:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the next-up:-chipless-wires? dept.

AMD has announced the acquisition of Nitero, a company that made a "phased-array beamforming millimeter wave" wireless chip for VR/AR headsets:

Nitero has designed a phased-array beamforming millimeter wave chip to address the challenges facing wireless VR and AR. Using high-performance 60 GHz wireless, this technology has the potential to enable multi-gigabit transmit performance with low latency in room-scale VR environments. The beamforming characteristics solve the requirement for line-of-sight associated with traditional high-frequency mm-wave systems, potentially eliminating wired VR headsets and enabling users to become more easily immersed in virtual and augmented worlds.

I'll say no thanks to a headset with cables connected to it. Those are for the early adopters.

Original Submission

Related Stories

Qualcomm Announces 802.11ay Wi-Fi Chips that Can Transmit 10 Gbps Within Line-of-Sight 12 comments

Qualcomm's new Wi-Fi chips are meant to rival 5G speeds

Qualcomm is launching a family of chips that can add incredibly high-speed Wi-Fi — at speeds up to 10 gigabits per second — to phones, laptops, routers, and so on. It's the start of a new generation of this super-fast Wi-Fi standard, but it isn't going to be used to speed up your typical web browsing. And whether it catches on at all remains an open question.

[...] WiGig relies on a connection standard known as 802.11ad, which can hit speeds up to 5 gigabits per second over close to 10 meters, according to Dino Bekis, the head of Qualcomm's mobile and compute connectivity group. Qualcomm's latest chips move WiGig up to a new generation of that wireless standard, called 802.11ay, which Bekis says can reach speeds twice as fast, and can do so up to 100 meter away. The Wi-Fi Alliance says the new standard "increases the peak data rates of WiGig and improves spectrum efficiency and reduces latency."

So why not just use this as normal Wi-Fi, given how fast it gets? Because that range is only line-of-sight — when there's literally nothing in the way between the transmitter and the receiver. This high-speed Wi-Fi is based on millimeter wave radio waves in the 60GHz range. That means it's really fast, but also that it has a very difficult time penetrating obstacles, like a wall. That's a problem if you want a general purpose wireless technology.

[...] It's not clear if this will really catch on, though. While there's definitely room for adoption from VR gamers, the earlier version of this tech has found minimal pickup in its couple years on the market. Asus recently made interesting use of it with the ROG Phone, which is designed for gamers. And Qualcomm says it's working with Facebook to use this tech for its Terragraph project, which wirelessly delivers home internet connections.

With 5:1 "visually lossless" compression, 10 Gbps could be enough for 5K @ 120 Hz.

Qualcomm press release.

Also at Engadget.

Related: AMD Acquires Nitero, a Maker of Wireless Chips for VR Headsets
Intel to Cease Shipments of Current WiGig Products, Focus on WiGig for VR
VirtualLink Consortium Announces USB Type-C Specification for VR Headsets
Wi-Fi Alliance Rebrands Wi-Fi Standards

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:48PM (1 child)

    by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:48PM (#492312) Journal

    Cooked brain, salt anyone? ;-)

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by ikanreed on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:08PM

      by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:08PM (#492324) Journal

      I have good news for you. Before any sort of brain damage results from brain overheating, you'll suffer traumatic headaches that will alert you to take the thing off.

      Also: microwaves, radio waves, and infrared absolutely suffuse our world already. A dash more millimeter wave(i.e. the same UHF that made your TV go before netflix) isn't too likely to kill you.

      It's only marginally higher energy than the 2.4 GhZ that your wireless router and mouse use.

      So unless this tech is using the kinds of power levels are radio tower dumps out, I doubt you're going to burn.

  • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:04PM (1 child)

    by butthurt (6141) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:04PM (#492320) Journal

    Oxygen attenuates 60 GHz signals, a property that is unique to the 60 GHz spectrum.

    -- []

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:19PM (#492332)

      Make the VR game be some sort of Mars thing. Run the game in a room with cold nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Players wear rebreathers to survive. High-end systems can even be low pressure, with players wearing pressure suits.

      Other options: Moon (just vacuum), World War I (nitrogen and chlorine), and bad coal mines (methane, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen).

  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:05PM

    by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:05PM (#492322)

    Ok, this solves the wire problem, but without the wire you need batteries. Lots of batteries. Why do you think Google pulled the plug on Glass?

    Longer term nobody is going to want to wear a pound of VR helmet. Even if it is just a passive receiver and display + sensors the power drain is going to be non-trivial. We really need something better than lithium batteries.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:11PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:11PM (#492327)

    Just put the computer on the person. Then the cable only has to run down your back, to a fanny pack or backpack or similar. You could even put it into a gun or shield.

    Optical is another choice, but really, just wear the computer.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday April 11 2017, @07:13PM (5 children)

      by takyon (881) <> on Tuesday April 11 2017, @07:13PM (#492406) Journal

      The computer adds to the weight and power consumption, although your backpack idea is a reality [].

      60 GHz is not so crazy []. It is the high frequency band used in 802.11ad [] (aka "WiGig"). It makes complete sense that your desktop would be in the same room as your VR headset.

      If you use the wireless/optical solution instead of the wearable computer, then you can put as much power as you want at the computer/workstation end. Multiple big GPUs, enthusiast CPUs, R7s, Xeons, whatever. The wearable computer would need to be limited to a low TDP and performance to extend battery life.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 1) by butthurt on Tuesday April 11 2017, @07:26PM (2 children)

        by butthurt (6141) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @07:26PM (#492410) Journal

        Combine it with this []? The turbines could provide air flow and could run a generator set to provide power.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday April 11 2017, @07:54PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <> on Tuesday April 11 2017, @07:54PM (#492419) Journal

          "How can we make jet packs more unsafe exciting for our customers?"

          "Trick them into thinking they're in a fantasy world!"

          "Brilliant! *sips whisky*"


          Oh wait, you're talking about a power generation scheme. Sounds loud as fuck, 0/10 immersion broken.

          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @09:17PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @09:17PM (#492463)

        You're still going to need serious batteries.

        Receiving at a high rate will cost you power. Decompressing will cost you too.

        Then there is the stuff you have in any case: light, pixels, etc. (shrinking the portion used by any computer)

    • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Wednesday April 12 2017, @08:18AM (1 child)

      by Rivenaleem (3400) on Wednesday April 12 2017, @08:18AM (#492663)

      Ghostbusters VR!