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Microsoft reveals HoloLens Holographic Processor specs

by Mark Tyson on 23 August 2016, 14:01

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), TSMC, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Microsoft has at last revealed details about the holographic processor, central to the HoloLens augmented reality headset's functionality. Earlier in the year Microsoft published specs for the headset – it explained that the HoloLens was powered by the combination of a 14nm Intel Atom x86 Cherry Trail processor and a 'Microsoft HPU'. Now we have details, including a chip plot, for this HPU.

Microsoft devices engineer Nick Baker hosted a presentation at the Hot Chips symposium in California and revealed exactly what is inside Microsoft HPU, reports The Register. The HPU is a custom, TSMC manufactured, 28nm chip which gathers together 24x Tensilica DSP cores. The chip comprises about 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM, and 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM, in a 12mm-by-12mm BGA package. Each of the 24 DSP cores is dedicated to a single sensory I/O computing function.

In further information, not listed on the slides but discussed at the presentation, The Register says that the HPU draws less than 10W and includes PCIe and standard serial interfaces. Data from the HPU is sent to the Cherry Trail processor in a state which is meant to minimise any further required processing, helping the real-time AR experience tick over smoothly. The Intel Atom chip has its own 2GB of RAM and runs a version of Windows 10. The passively cooled HoloLens has 64GB of storage, a battery life of 2 to 3 hours and weighs 579g.

Below is an interesting recent Microsoft HoloLens partner spotlight video.

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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£8 million quid?
Kinda low battery life, but if its easy to change batteries, then its ok.

Hoping this is more affordable than the VR headsets.
“a battery life of 2 to 3 hours and weighs 579g”

I'd imagine that, after an hour, you'll want to be sick so 3 hours is pretty cool.
“a battery life of 2 to 3 hours and weighs 579g”

I'd imagine that, after an hour, you'll want to be sick so 3 hours is pretty cool.

Mixed reality* devices don't suffer from the flaws of VR, you can use Hololens for as long as it has power with no ill effects.

* MR is currently the term being banded about for devices like Hololens and Magicleap to separate them from AR even though they are just an extension of that.

Hololens has huge potential, not only as a standalone device but as an actual display companion to your PC so you can actually use it for serious tasks like cad, photoshop, medical and industrial applications.

MR devices are going to be the next big thing not VR, it's why Apple has been going around quietly buying up AR tech as they fear Hololens/Magicleap so they are most definitely building their own.

For all the hype around Magicleap they are doing a fully custom computing environment through their MR device in other words their own Windows/OSX which is a very brave thing to do in this age, wether it pays off is hard to say they probably will just get bought out by bigger fish.