When Lenovo unveiled the first consumer Tango-enabled smartphone, the PHAB2 Pro, it was somewhat curious that the OEM went with a Snapdragon 625 instead of the highest end 820. Although we’ll probably never really find out why, Qualcomm reveals that it has, in fact, made specific tweaks to make the SD652 work perfectly with Tango. Now it has done the same for the Snapdragon 820, its current flagship, and promises it will also be the case for future generations of the 600 and 800 chip series, opening the doors for more devices to dance their way to augmented reality as well.
While the bulk of Tango’s AR-related talents do rely on a multitude of sensors, more than a common smartphone definitely, in the end those are all processed by the smartphone’s CPU, in the Lenovo PHAB2 Pro’s case, the Snapdragon 652. But that chip shares much in common with the 820, like efficient processing sensor with the need for external co-processors, something that the likes of Apple’s chips rely on. Of course, the Snapdragon 820 is even more suited for the task given its faster performance and lower power draw.
However, Qualcomm boasts that, in fact, all its Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors are perfect for Tango. In particular, these two series of chips have an integrated global high-frequency clock, which can be used to accurately time stamp sensor data. Accuracy is critical for augmented reality, as it has to respond to real-time events and data.
So to further push the AR trend, not to mention make its chips the go to solution for future Tango devices (the previous development kits ran on NVIDIA’s Tegra), Qualcomm is announcing wholehearted support for Project Tango in the current Snapdragon 820. And moving forward, that will be the same for future iterations of the 600 and 800 series, ensuring that more OEMs will at least hae the choice of doing the Tango at little extra cost. Except for all those sensors.