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AMD acquires wireless VR talent and IP from Nitero

by Mark Tyson on 11 April 2017, 10:01


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AMD has acquired the wireless intellectual property (IP) and key engineering staff from Nitero. You might not have heard of Nitero before but the company is a pioneer in wireless technology solutions. Nitero's phased-array beamforming millimetre wave chip is said to be a particular attraction, as it is seen as a solution for the requirement for line-of-sight associated with traditional high-frequency mm-wave systems used in wireless VR and AR headsets. AMD hopes bringing this IP and the talent from Nitero in-house will potentially eliminate wired VR headsets and enable users to become more easily immersed in virtual and augmented worlds. Nitero co-founder and CEO Pat Kelly has joined AMD as CVP of Wireless IP.

"Unwieldly headset cables remain a significant barrier to drive widespread adoption of VR," said Mark Papermaster, AMD CTO. "Our newly acquired wireless VR technology is focused on solving this challenge, and is another example of AMD making long-term technology investments to develop high-performance computing and graphics technologies that can create more immersive computing experiences."

Nitero's phased-array beamforming millimetre wave chip uses high-performance 60GHz wireless (AKA Wi-Gig) which is capable of "multi-gigabit transmit performance with low latency in room-scale VR environments". The technology removes any line-of-sight requirements between the headset and room sensors - an important positive for smooth, uninterrupted VR escapades.

"Our world class engineering team has been focused on solving the difficult problem of building wireless VR technologies that can be integrated into next-generation headsets," said AMD's new CVP of Wireless IP, Pat Kelly.

AMD has often talked about VR technology at recent tech events so it's interesting to see it expand in this direction via acquisitions like Nitero.

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