Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Freepik
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality) are two major technological developments that have taken over the world by storm. They are promising to be the future of display and communication technologies. Even though these technologies are still at their infancy, it is impossible to underestimate their potential, especially when we consider the fact that they are capable of delivering a 3D visual experience. Both VR and AR are already used in a wide range of applications. They are commonly used in entertainment, communication, gaming, healthcare, education, and engineering among many other application areas.
While virtual reality focuses on delivering an immersive experience, AR focuses on improving the interactions between users and content on digital devices. Both AR and VR technologies require combined efforts from both the software and hardware sides of technologies in order to deliver the best experience.
Hardware components should provide adequate support that is needed for the display of augmented reality and as well as virtual reality. Integrated circuits are at the top of the list when it comes to the hardware components that are needed for VR and AR technologies.
IC chips support both sides of AR and VR: On the software side, they facilitate the accurate generation of virtual and augmented realities. On the hardware side, the chips ensure that the devices are able to run these two technologies. In this article, we are going to discuss in detail the functions of IC chips in virtual reality and augmented reality. If you are working on a project that entails these two technologies, you will know the types of microchips that are used and the specific roles that they play.
What is virtual reality?
Image source Freepik
VR takes users deep into an environment that has been generated by the computer and other advanced high-tech devices. The VR technology will create the 3D version of the environment that has been generated and users will fully interact in it.
In order to immerse yourself into the world of virtual reality, you will have to wear a VR headset that is embedded with a head-mounted display system. This headset will separate you from the actual world and take you to the virtual world. Other than the visual aspect, most HMD for VR technology comes with audio devices that will expose you to the sounds of the virtual environment.
Here are the key components that make up the virtual reality:
- Computing device: A powerful computer is used for the processing of data and for the creation of a 3D version of the world. All other components are connected to a computing device. A typical computing device should have memory chips, data processing chips, graphics chips, and power chips among others.
- HMDs: this is the head-mounted display system that is designed to display the virtual world in front of a user. This system is embedded with sensors, headphones and terminals that give users an immersive virtual experience
- Sensors: Sensors are embedded in the HMDs and their primary function is to sense or detect motions and movements that users make. For example, they can detect the head movements of the users and will translate the message to the display system. Some of the sensors include accelerometers, gyroscopes, and 6DoF.
- Input devices: These are the devices that relay data and at the same time control the output information in virtual reality. The devices include a joystick, computer mouse controllers ad even the sensors.
These components clearly show that the application of integrated circuit chips is limitless. They are literally in every component and aspect of virtual reality technology.
Overview of augmented reality?
Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes images that have been generated by the computer representing the real world. The generated images are intended to give a composite view of the world. While the VR technology focuses on taking users to an immersive environment, augmented reality technology creates a blend between the real world and the elements that have been generated by the computer.
Augmented reality can be created on a normal smartphone camera though the display should be on specific interfaces. The list of components in the AR is similar to those used in the VR. It includes components like sensors, computing systems, artificial intelligence, data chips, processing chips and display unit.
Functions of IC chips in VR and AR
Now that you know what these two technologies are, let’s look at some of the key roles of IC chips in the functioning and overall performance of these two technologies.
Processors in AR an VR
Processors are the brain of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. They process the large volume of data that is used in the generation of the virtual reality environment as well as the augmentation of the images. It is the function of the IC processors to perform complex computations that are used in these two technologies. For a processor to be used in VR and AR, it must be of high capacity so as to guarantee the best results.
Data is another critical element of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. There are lots of data-related processes that take place in these systems. Data ICs are used for storing data that is to be executed or processed by the processors. Data chips in these devices can be classified as either RAM or ROM. There is also a special chip that stores data about the device.
The head-mounted display (HMD) headset that is used in virtual reality and augmented reality technologies is embedded with sensors. They sense all the movements of the head and help to create an immersive experience and interaction with the virtual world. Sensors on the other hand, are embedded with microchips. They serve as data collectors. From the sensors, data will be relayed to the processing unit where it will be executed.
Seamless connection is another critical element of VR and AR technologies. This is vital because these technologies are also used in the communication industry. The connection can either be wired or wireless. For example, a Bluetooth chip will facilitate the connection between the AR headset and the smartphone. A wired connection may be needed for linking the VR to the audio equipment.
All these connections are made possible by IC chips. They provide an interface that makes it possible for data transfer between different devices. There are also dedicated chips that connect the VR and AR devices to the Internet network.
Power management in VR and AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality devices depend on power to function. Power ICs are used for power management and optimization in these devices. Power chips ensure that each component gets the right current and voltage. These chips also play a protective role whereby they regulate the voltage from the power source to the devices. Through power optimization, the chips minimize wastage of energy by the devices.
Market insights for IC chips in the augmented and virtual reality chips
According to Emergen Research, the global market size of AR and VR in 2021 was estimated to be USD 2.78 billion. It was predicted that this figure will keep rising steadily due to the demand for virtual reality and augmented reality technologies in different application areas. In fact, this is the primary factor that has contributed to the growth of this industry.
The data also revealed that the processing chips form the largest percentage of the IC chips that are used in the virtual reality and augmented reality industry. IC processors are used as the brains of the system. They coordinate all the functions and activities in virtual reality and augmented reality. They can generate signals from the sensors as well as process signals. There is also a high demand for the chips that are used on the user interface of both VR and AR. In recent years, we have seen companies striving to design and manufacture different UIs for virtual and augmented reality solutions.
When it comes to the market segmentation, the gaming industry seems to be taking the lion’s share of the IC industry in relation to the VA and AR solutions.
From this guide, it is clear that IC chips are at the heart of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. They are responsible for the quality graphics, processing power and the general operation of the augmented reality and virtual reality. As the IC chip technology keeps evolving, so we should expect the advancement of VR and AR technologies.
In case you are working on a project that entails virtual reality or augmented reality, getting the right IC chip should be your priority. Keep in mind that the best chips have the full capacity to deliver the best performance. The surest place to get perfect IC chips is from reputable and reliable AR and VR chip suppliers. Once you ate 100% of the type of microchip that is suitable for your project, the next step is to contact the supplier and place your order.
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