Microsoft unveiled its new AR HoloLens headset last week and left all of us pretty impressed but the company didn’t talk about what was powering the device. But now we are starting to learn a few tidbits about its internals.
According to a report from PCWorld, quoting an unnamed source, Microsoft’s new piece of hardware is powered by Intel’s chips.
On stage Microsoft mentioned that the HoloLens was powered by three processing units: a CPU, a GPU and a HPU, a holographic processing unit. It’s those first two that are reportedly being made by Intel and follow the Cherry Trail design.
Cherry Trail is the codename for Intel’s newest Atom chips, destined to show up in tablets and other small devices later this year. They are based on the Broadwell architecture and manufactured using the 14nm printing technique.
While Microsoft won’t confirm the report, Cherry Trail does seem to fit well with everything else we know about HoloLens. The smaller, cooler chips offer exactly the kind of mobility and processing power needed in such a device. Cherry Trail also offers wireless connectivity and wireless charging support, both of which might be coming to HoloLens.
What about the HPU? This is entirely in the realm of speculation now as Microsoft didn’t say anything about this new chip. One possibility is that the company simply developed it in-house to handle 3D data or image processing.
Another option, which seems a bit more reasonable, is that Microsoft partnered with Intel and repurposed one of the chip maker’s image processing chips to fit their needs and play nicely with Cherry Trail.
In either case we’re bound to find out more about HoloLens, what powers it and what Microsoft’s plans are, as we get closer to summer.