Skip to main content

Forget quad-core, Microsoft's HoloLens is rocking a 24-core 'holographic processor'

Microsoft HoloLens

The HoloLens is arguably one of the coolest augmented reality headsets around, however, the integral Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that actually powers it has been shrouded in mystery – that is until now.

The Register reports a Microsoft devices engineer named Nick Barber ran a presentation detailing exactly what makes the HPU tick. It turns out the chip is none other than a TSMC – who also manufactures iPhone-processors – made 28nm Tensilica chip containing 24 DSP cores, 8MB of static RAM, 1GB of DDR3 RAM all packed into a 12mm-squared package.

Now those specs might not sound super impressive, but the HPU has around 65 million logic gates and can handle roughly a trillion calculations per second. Although, the HoloLens also has a separate CPU and GPU they're really only around to launch apps and display holograms. Meanwhile, the 24-core chip handles the bulk of processing tasks including real-time information feeding in from the cameras and sensors.

Barber also highlighted the HPU is fairly economical and draws less than 10-watts of power to track gestures and scan the user's environment. Additionally, the HPU also supports PCIe and serial interfaces potentially making it expandable.

  • Microsoft's HoloLens has more than a few competitors including Intel

Via PC World