Chip manufacturers Intel have announced the End of Life of the Atom processor chip that powers Microsoft’s HoloLens. Final orders on the Atom x5-Z8100P SoC will be taken on 30th September, 2017, with final shipments expected on 30th October.
Microsoft are one of the very few customers using the Atom x5-Z8100P SoC, since it is a semi-custom chip made to Microsoft’s specifications, it seems likely that the end-of-life time was previously agreed between Intel and Microsoft. The timing of the announcement along with Microsoft’s previous announcements of its plans for the next-generation HoloLens indicates that Microsoft are keeping on track with plans for the new version of the mixed reality (MR) platform.
As previously indicated by Microsoft Research engineer Doug Burger, Microsoft are planning for the new version of the HoloLens to include an AI co-processor to allow for object and voice recognition functions without needed to be attached to an external internet connection. Microsoft are hoping that the ‘HoloLens 2’ will be able to function as a standalone device, running an independent version Windows 10 and using internal battery power.
The current version of the HoloLens is based on the Atom x5-Z8100P ‘System on a Chip’ along with a custom holographic processing unit (HPU) that allows the device to process data from several sources, such as the camera, accelerometer, microsphones and gyroscope. Full details on what the architecture of the next-generation HoloLens will be has not yet been revealed, but Microsoft reportedly had a working version of the new HPU as on July, 2017.
Most analysts are predicting that the new version of the HoloLens will not be available until late 2018, or even 2019, a prediction that matches the announcement of the end-of-life on the current HoloLens processor.
VRFocus will continue to bring you news on the latest developments regarding the HoloLens.