Microsoft has finally revealed the first details of the hardware specs for its custom Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that's included in the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset.
While Microsoft started shipping the first HoloLens Developer Edition headsets earlier this year, it has kept specifics about its custom HPU to itself. Today, The Register reports that Microsoft finally offered up more info on that chip as part of a panel at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California:
The HPU is a custom-designed TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores. It has about 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM and 1GB of low-power DDR3 RAM, all in a 12mm-by-12mm BGA package. We understand it can perform a trillion calculations a second.
It handles all the environment sensing and other input and output necessary for the virtual-reality goggles. It aggregates data from sensors and processes the wearer's gesture movements, all in hardware so it's faster than the equivalent code running on a general purpose CPU. Each DSP core is given a particular task to focus on.
The HoloLens headset also has an Intel Atom processor that runs Windows 10 with 1GB of RAM. The device also has 64GB of onboard storage. Since this is the first generation of Microsoft's HPU, we can likely expect to see even more performance for the next version of the processor. In the meantime, the HoloLens Developer Edition is currently available for $3,000 at the Microsoft Store.