How do you design hardware for an idea as big, ambitious, and mysterious as the Metaverse? Qualcomm’s VP & GM of XR, Hugo Swart, takes us behind the scenes to discuss the Extended Reality (XR) technology that one day may immerse us in a virtual universe and change the way we work, live, and play.
The Metaverse is coming! It may be a virtual universe, but it has to run on real, physical, high-performance hardware. Tech mega-giant Qualcomm, led by Hugo Swart, is developing the chips behind new XR technology that has “the opportunity to change the world," similar to the smartphone era.
XR, for those still trying to catch up with the terminology, stands for “extended reality,” a concept that encompasses VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and sometimes MR (mixed reality).
In this episode of Moore’s Lobby, Daniel talks with Hugo about his background and the steps that led up to heading one of Qualcomm’s most forward-facing divisions—and when they realized they were “onto something” with this whole XR thing. Topics of discussion include cutting-edge IC design, the difference between designing for AR vs. smartphones, and the nitty-gritty of parameters like “common illumination.”
In this Moore’s Lobby Season 4 opener, there are numerous highlights that Daniel and Hugo cover that you won’t want to miss:
- Get that definition of the Metaverse you crave. (Spoilers: You’ll need to make room in your brain for more buzzwords, like “spatial internet.”)
- Hear Hugo explain Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform’s impact on XR, the first mobile AR/VR chip uniting AI and 5G broadband connectivity with twice the CPU and GPU performance, and why TIME named it one of the “Best Inventions of 2021."
- Discover how Magellan inspires engineers to sail for the “New New World” and why Hugo looks into the future and believes “your audience of engineers…they’re going to have a lot of fun.”
- Learn what it takes to build a chip suitable for multiple XR use cases, protect IP, and Hugo’s take on why ”power is king."
- Gain more knowledge on why Qualcomm’s key partnerships with Microsoft, Meta, and other Silicon Valley partners are significant—years before they hit the mainstream.
A Big Thank You to This Episode's Sponsors
Meet Hugo Swart
Hugo Swart serves as VP and GM of XR for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. He is responsible for overseeing Qualcomm’s XR business and P&L including go-to-market, product planning and roadmap, strategy, partnerships, and customer development. He spearheaded the standalone VR category in the industry with Qualcomm Technologies’ first reference design in 2016 and built Qualcomm Technologies’ XR business from the ground up.
Swart joined Qualcomm in 2003 as a technical marketing manager in charge of promoting wireless data technologies to operators worldwide. He has held roles of increasing responsibility since that time and has led several successful R&D projects from idea inception to customer adoption in the wireless space.
Prior to joining Qualcomm, Swart served as a sales engineer for Lucent Technologies and Telecom Italia.
Swart received his bachelor’s (1999) and Master of Science (2004) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Campinas, Brazil. In addition, he received a Master of Business Administration (2008) from San Diego State University.