Metaverse — a new track for global technology giants
“Metaverse” is generally understood as a sustainable virtual world derived from the real world, parallel and interactive with the real world. It has its own set of operational mechanisms in which people use various means with high degrees of freedom to entertain, socialize, produce and live. According to the description of meta founder Zuckerberg, “metaverse” can be regarded as the successor of mobile Internet. A concrete Internet, not only watch content, but also you are in it. It is a life experience that you can’t get on 2D plane applications.
Metaverse is characterized by immersion and the improvement of user created content (UGC). This is a long-term process, which needs to be accompanied by the improvement of chip computing power, the popularization of software design engine, the convenience of interactive devices such as AR / VR, the continuous development of superimposed blockchain technology and decentralized application ecology, so as to achieve the final form.
The improvement of metaverse form requires a significant improvement in the following six aspects:
1. Computing power: function expansion and performance improvement of GPU / CPU / AI and other computing power chips;
2. Algorithm: the platform software engine reduces the creation threshold of the virtual world and promotes the prosperity of UGC based content in the metaverse era;
3. Communication: 5g low delay is an important factor to ensure immersion and the availability of metaverse at any time;
4. Interactive technology: VR / AR and brain computer interface, as the connector between human and virtual world, greatly promote the immersion of virtual world;
5. Data asset ownership and transaction rules: blockchain and privacy computing technology realize convenient and efficient Ownership Authentication and data capitalization;
6. Application scenario: from games, office, exhibition to all aspects of people’s life.
Focusing on the six capability elements of metaverse, global technology giants are accelerating their admission: NVIDIA releases Omniverse, a 3D design and collaboration platform, meta releases new materials for somatosensory gloves and similar skin, apple launches ar headgear within the year, Microsoft proposes immersive office solution, Qualcomm layout to build a next-generation computing platform, bytecs layout AR / VR technology, roblox power metaverse education, baidu launches metaverse social app xirang Netease releases an immersive conference activity system.
AR / VR equipment — entrance and carrier of metaverse
If mobile phones are one of the important information carriers in the mobile Internet era, AR / VR devices are the main entrance and carrier in the metaverse era (next generation Internet, Web3.0). IDC data report shows that in 2021, the global shipment of AR / VR equipment reached 11.23 million units, with a year-on-year increase of 92.1%. The shipment of AR / VR equipment is in the stage of rapid growth, and the market scale is expanding. In China, traditional mobile phone manufacturers Huawei, Xiaomi, oppo and vivo have launched a battle for the entrance of the “metaverse era”. In the first quarter of 2022, Huawei, Xiaomi, oppo and vivo announced 13 patents related to VR / AR, involving AR / VR basic technology, appearance design, optical display and other fields.
AR / VR equipment is an important carrier to realize perception, positioning, interaction, decision-making and execution in metaverse. In this process, display and computing are the core and basic functions, and also the biggest technical challenge, which will drive the chip manufacturers related to display and computing to carry out significant technological upgrading and innovation.
Display chip — the core of AR / VR display function
In terms of display chips, the display chips of AR / VR devices on the market at present have weak functions and poor display effect, and lack the overall design of key optical modules, resulting in too large product volume and poor wearing feeling, which can not meet the use needs of large field angle, high resolution, high refresh rate, low power consumption, portable wearing and so on in the future. In terms of computing chip, in order to realize the realistic reflection of a drop of water mapping the scenery and the artistic conception effect of smoke filled when cigar is burning, the computing power of the chip needs to be improved by tens of millions of times and the image processing capacity needs to be expanded by tens of millions. The realization of metaverse immersion needs the powerful computing power of AR / VR equipment, which is extremely complex and spans a variety of heterogeneous computing platforms.
In the field of display chips, Sony is dominant because of the high specification of its products. At the ces2022 press conference, Sony officially announced the details of psvr2, including eye tracking, 4khdr display and 110 ° field of view. Apple plans to release its first AR head display device in Q4, which will also be equipped with Sony’s 4K micro OLED display. In the AR / VR device market, Qualcomm is one of the mainstream suppliers of AR / VR computing chips. Its Xiaolong XR series and Xiaolong 8 series processors have become the choice of mainstream AR / VR devices such as Pico and quest. In February 2022, Cristiano Amon, chief executive of Qualcomm, announced the establishment of an important partnership with Pico and byte, the domestic leader in Ar / VR. The two sides will cooperate on XR (AR / VR) hardware devices, software platforms and developer tools.
Chinese enterprises enter the AR / VR core chip market
AR / VR core chip technology has a high threshold and is difficult to develop. However, under the background of metaverse, there is a huge market space in the future, and the global chip giants are stepping up their layout. In such a competitive environment, can Chinese chip enterprises also occupy a place or even win?
In this regard, Mr. Li Keyi, the founder of Yuanhe (Guangzhou) semiconductor technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Yuanhe semiconductor”), the first domestic company engaged in Ar / VR core chip design and research, believes that in the face of metaverse, an emerging market, Chinese chip enterprises will have the opportunity to surpass if they can quickly layout, continuously innovate and deeply cultivate technology.
According to Li Keyi, Yuanhe semiconductor’s R & D team has achieved an original breakthrough in display technology, such as independent RGB light-emitting technology, higher light source brightness, lower power consumption, higher contrast and lower cost, which can bring end consumers a better near eye display product experience and is fully likely to become the mainstream technology in the field of AR / VR optical display in the future.
Secondly, Yuanhe Semiconductor R & D team has long been engaged in heterogeneous architecture chip design with independent intellectual property rights, which can realize efficient collaborative computing between CPU / DSP / GPU and AI, and greatly reduce the threshold of AR / VR software development, which is conducive to the establishment of AR / VR ecology. In addition, Yuanhe semiconductor is also one of the few chip companies that integrate display and computing design in the world, resulting in synergy between computing and display chips to greatly improve performance and reduce costs.
The era of metaverse has come. Mankind is entering the integration scene of the real world and the virtual world. The new production and life mode has also brought new markets and opportunities. For the entrance and carrier of metaverse – AR / VR equipment market, the display and computing chip is its core engine, which has extremely high technical barriers and development difficulties. After Yuanhe semiconductor, more Chinese chip enterprises will participate in competition and innovation. Chinese enterprises continue to strengthen R & D, deepen market understanding, pay attention to ecological construction and industrial chain coordination, and I believe more enterprises will stand out in this broad and highly competitive market.