Now that stand-alone virtual reality has become more of a… reality, ARM wants to eliminate some of the technology’s remaining headaches. It’s launching a new display chip design, the Mali-D77, that aims to both fix visual artifacts and improve performance. It can reduce motion sickness by re-projecting scenes (to adjust for the headset’s position) and correcting lens artifacts like distortion and chromatic aberration. Your VR headset might also last longer on battery power — ARM expects a 12 percent power savings and a 40 percent drop in bandwidth.
The design is optimized for common VR hardware running at a 3K resolution and 120 frames per second. It might not help with some future headsets, then. However, ARM hopes it’ll lead to “lighter, smaller” gear that’s more comfortable to wear.
You will have to wait a while to see any benefits. The Mali-D77 is just architecture at this point. Chip makers will have to implement the design in shipping processors, and you’ll have to wait until sometime after that before it’s available in a headset you can buy. Still, this bodes well for the future of self-contained VR — you won’t have to settle for a sub-par experience just to avoid wires.