Microsoft’s HoloLens could be gearing up to kick Intel to the curb

microsoft posts tutorial creating terminator hud using hololens

Microsoft’s next HoloLens headset is still in the works but according to leaks, it could feature some significant internal changes — including a new processor from an Intel competitor. According to Windows Central the new headset could sport some new hardware under the hood, as Microsoft contemplates replacing the HoloLens’ Intel processor with an ARM processor.

That’s interesting for a couple reasons, first because it means the HoloLens 2 — or whatever it ends up being called — could be built on Microsoft’s Always Connected PC platform, and could feature LTE connectivity. If you’re unfamiliar, Microsoft’s Always Connected PCs are Qualcomm-powered laptops designed for unparalleled battery life and mobile connectivity. That means the HoloLens’ new processor could be more powerful but consume less power overall. Which leads to another important development.

“HoloLens contains a custom multiprocessor called the Holographic Processing Unit, or HPU. It is responsible for processing the information coming from all of the on-board sensors, including Microsoft’s custom time-of-flight depth sensor, head-tracking cameras, the inertial measurement unit, and the infrared camera. The HPU is part of what makes HoloLens the world’s first – and still only – fully self-contained holographic computer,” said Microsoft’s Marc Pollefeys in a blog post describing the next-gen HPU.

So the next-gen HPU that lives in the HoloLens 2 will have the horsepower — and battery power thanks to that low-power ARM chip — to perform complex computing onboard without having to outsource compute-intensive tasks like voice recognition to cloud services.

“In addition to the new [holographic processing unit], we hear that the next HoloLens will be powered by an ARM processor and include LTE support for true-mobile holographic computing,” Windows Central reports. “Our sources suggest that the next HoloLens will be more mobile than ever, with longer battery life and an always-connected state. It is likely the HoloLens 2 will also include a wider field of view, something the original HoloLens caught a lot of flack for.”

Not only will these changes make the HoloLens 2 a much more capable device, but they have some far-reaching consequences as well. If Microsoft is going to replace the Intel chip currently in the original HoloLens with an ARM chip in the HoloLens 2, this would be the second high-profile company to reportedly plan for a jump to non-Intel processors for a flagship device.

Computing

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.
Mobile

LG starts MWC 2019 early with the new Q60, K50, and K40 phones

LG has announced three new smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress 2019: The Q60, the K50, and the K40. All are midrange devices, but with some striking features, including multi-lens cameras.
Computing

Best Buy’s latest sale takes up to $300 off the best Chromebooks

Looking to purchase a new Chromebook? You're in for some luck. Best Buy's latest sale is taking up to $300 off some of the best premium Chromebooks, including the HP Chromebook x2.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Computing

Potentially malicious WinRAR vulnerability patched after almost 20 years

WinRAR, a piece of Windows software for managing archival formats, has been harboring a vulnerability for nearly two decades, potentially allowing malicious software to insert items into a computer's startup folder without user permission.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Computing

Prone to web surfing? Google Chrome’s new Focus Mode fights internet distractions

Finding yourself distracted by the web when you need to get work done? A new flag in Google Chrome could hint at a new Focus Mode. The feature may allow computer users to block distracting websites or notifications.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.
Computing

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs.