Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, is teaming up with Qualcomm for their smart glasses due to struggles with their Brasilia chip, reported by The Information. [meta qualcomm brasiliainformation]
- Meta had planned to build its own chip for their smart glasses but their plan failed, forcing them to rely on Qualcomm chips for future devices
- Meta’s first headsets will use a modified version of Android and chips made by Qualcomm instead of the XROS operating system and the Brasilia chip
- The delay and complications in developing the Brasilia chip caused a setback for Meta’s plan to become self-sufficient
- Meta’s VP of augmented reality hinted that the company wants to go forward with its own silicon chips in the future
- Some of Brasilia’s key features may be used in Meta’s future projects, so it’s not entirely dead
As the trend continues for more companies to make their own chips for their product line, Meta Platforms had planned a chip for their smart glasses but their plan seems to have failed.
Under the code-name Brasilia, Meta was building its own chip led by Mark Zuckerburg himself by his team FAST (Facebook Agile Silicon Team), but the slow process and unforeseen complications seem to have put Meta’s plan to build their own chip to stop, as the company will now by buying chips from world-famous chip giant Qualcomm.
Before eventually opting for Qualcomm chips for their VR and AR devices, some insiders told The Information that the team had built the prototype Brasilia, but the company then went ahead to go for Qualcomm chips for future devices.
Luckily, Meta Chief of Augmented Reality, Alex Himel stated that the company went with Qualcomm because going with the Brasilia chips would delay their smart glasses’ launch, something Meta didn’t want. [meta qualcomm brasiliainformation]
Code-named Brasilia and its delay was a huge setback for Meta as the company had planned a whole product line to build on top of their own silicon. They didn’t want to depend on companies like Qualcomm for chips for their products like virtual reality headsets, smart video devices, and glasses.
Though, Apple’s plan succeeded as the tech giant is not producing its own silicon chips but instead of buying from Intel. If Meta had achieved what they had planned for Brasilia, they would have more control over the customization options, features, future updates, size, and battery life of their future products, something Apple seemed to have achieved with the M1 chips in their MacBooks.
“[Brasilia has] the ability to take higher-quality pictures than Meta’s current Ray-Ban Stories can capture,” The Information states. [meta qualcomm brasiliainformation]
Now that Meta’s plan has failed, the tech giant had no other option but to put Qualcomm’s chip into their Oculus Quest VR and Ray-Ban Stories glasses. Meta had plans to use the Brasilia chip in these products, but due to potential delay in their launch and the failed plan with Brasilia, most of Meta’s hardware is now supported by Qualcomm silicon.
In order to keep the Brasilia project alive, the VP of augmented reality, Alex Himel, hinted that Meta has taken a temporary step with Qualcomm, and in the future, the company wants to go forward with its own silicon chips as they offer more customizations and control over their product line.
One of the reasons Himel mentioned going with Qualcomm is Brasilia’s slow and insignificant advancement. Also, Meta was making an operating system called “XROS” for their mixed glasses. The team, unfortunately, working on XROS was disbanded.
So, instead of XROS, Meta decided to use a modified version of Android and chips made by Qualcomm for their first headsets.
While some would think that the Brasilia project is “dead,” Meta seems to have hinted to the stakeholders that the company is only changing its trajectory with its own chip. We may see new chips with new names.
Also, The Information stated that some of Brasilia’s key features might also be used or transferred to other future projects by Meta. So, saying that Brasilia is dead would simply be unwise. [meta qualcomm brasiliainformation]