Dec 13, 2019 | Updated: 02:50 PM EST

AMD Purchase Nitero's Wireless VR IP Ahead of Forthcoming Radeon Vega Launch; Hints Something Bigger

Apr 12, 2017 11:55 AM EDT

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AMD has acquired the intellectual property relating to virtual reality (VR) technology from Nitero Company. Nitero is a company which is getting its name into headlines by teasing that it was working on phase-array beamforming millimeter wave 60GHz chip for VR headsets, with the fabless semiconductor company based in Austin, Texas, that is perfect for AMD with its base there.

AMD has announced on Monday that they are preparing to launch a number of new graphics cards based on its new Vega architecture, manufactured on the 14nm FinFET process. Virtual Reality (VR) capabilities are a key selling point of next-generation GPUs, with AMD bidding to catch-up with the lead established by rival Nvidia over the past year with its 10-series GPUs, as reported by Market Wired.

According to AMD, noted by Value Walk, Nitero's technology will help the device making companies build VR headsets, which can connect to their devices wirelessly in the multi-gigabit throughput range. AMD Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster said in a statement that, "Unwieldly headset cables remain a significant barrier to drive widespread adoption of VR."

Nitero has claimed to have designed what it describes as a "phased-array beam-forming millimeter wave chip" to deal with the challenges facing wireless VR and AR. The technology has the potential to enable PCs to transmit multi-gigabit streams to headsets with low latency in room-scale VR environments, using high-performance 60GHz wireless, as per The Inquirer.

The beam-forming characteristics solve the requirement for line-of-sight, which are associated with traditional high-frequency millimetre wave systems. This potentially eliminating wired VR headsets and enabling users to become more easily immersed in virtual and augmented worlds, according to ZDNet.

Till now, AMD's efforts in the VR and AR sides have revolved around its CPUs inside VR-ready PCs. With this gaining, AMD is making a turn toward the wireless VR space that many consider being the end-goal for virtual reality headsets.

Nitero co-founder and CEO Pat Kelly, who has joined AMD as corporate vice president in charge of wireless IP said in a statement, "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."

AMD Radeon Vega graphics card is going to get an enormous workout from a next-gen wireless VR headset; hopefully pushing 4K 120Hz per eye that will really make the new HBC and HBM2 tech come into play. 2017 is the most exciting year on AMD's record with the launch of Ryzen, the upcoming launch of the Radeon RX 500 series and soon after that there will be the next-gen Radeon Vega graphics card family, and now the acquisition of Nitero.

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