The chip designer announces that its next SoC Snapdragon will integrate advanced depth detection capabilities with the new generation of its Spectra module.
Qualcomm has begun to unveil its next high-end SoC for smartphones, which will succeed the Snapdragon 835. The future chip will feature the second generation of Spectra, a signal processor for image processing. By taking advantage of the photo sensors of an Android smartphone, this module is capable of creating a high-definition image in depth as shown in the image below.
Qualcomm is therefore upgrading from the first generation of the Spectra module, integrated in the Snapdragon 820 and 835, whose main task is to improve the quality of photos (low-light shooting, zoom). The second generation Spectra can improve photos and videos by providing, for example, electronic image stabilization or by creating portraits with a bokeh effect (background blur), but also to provide an analysis of Depth image, with high definition and high precision.
Three types of photo sensors
Qualcomm plans to combine the Spectra module with three different types of photo sensors to implement one or more functionalities, depending on the hardware of the device. It will thus be possible to carry out iris authentication (more efficient than that of the Samsung Galaxy S8 according to the chip designer), and / or a passive 3D capture of a scene and / or, 3D active.
The passive 3D vision implements two photo sensors, following the same principle as the two eyes of a human being. Much more ambitious, active 3D vision involves an infrared beam in emission (a pattern of a thousand points is sent) and in reception, which allows the module to create a matrix of points that will be used to generate the 3D image Using the traditional photo sensor data. With the second generation of the Spectra module, Qualcomm will equip high-end smartphones with advanced features in augmented reality and virtual reality. A technology that will compete head-on with the one Apple is preparing for its next iPhone, of which it has already unveiled one of the bricks: ARKit software layer. The Qualcomm module could also be used in standalone virtual reality helmets. It will be necessary to be patient because the successor of the Snapdragon 835 is not envisaged before the month of December. The first smartphones that will benefit will be marketed next year.