Synaptics’ new VR bridge and display driver readies dual-display 2K HMDs for gaming, movies, and medical applications

By Warren Miller, contributing writer

The race for
higher resolution and a better interactive experience in virtual reality (VR)
head-mounted displays (HMDs) is on, and Synaptics Inc. might just have
gotten a head start on the competition. The company recently announced the
sampling of its ClearView R63455 display driver IC (DDIC), touted as the first display driver to
feature dual-display 2K resolution combined with foveal transport support for
HMDs.

Synaptics also revealed
the VXR7200 VR Bridge, a high-speed DisplayPort connectivity solution tethered
over USB Type-C cables capable of supporting full VESA DP1.4 bandwidth. The
company hopes that, together, these two components will represent a big leap
forward in the HMD user experience for applications including gaming, movies,
and medical.

Working in
harmony, the DDIC and VR Bridge will allow the user to track 2K resolution
images in both eyes (1,000 ppi) at once. The DDIC provides foveal transport
support, a term for increased resolution at the center of an image where the
eye is focused most intently and lower resolution on the peripheries of the
image. Not only is this concept similar to the way the human eye naturally
processes visual information, but it allows HMDs to function with lower
computing power, making them less bulky and power-greedy.

Key features:

  • R63455 VR DDIC optimized for 2,160 × 2,400
    @ 90-Hz HMD
  • 1,000 ppi, 2K per-eye superior image
    quality
  • Foveal Transport provides
    crystal-clear visual where you need it most
  • VXR7200 VR Bridge supports full DP1.4
    bandwidth using AMD/Nvidia GPUs over USB-C
  • Support panels >2K resolution or
    faster refresh rates without image loss due to cabling

“While virtual
reality devices are becoming more common, issues remain with maintaining
high-resolution graphics and avoiding motion sickness and the screen-door
effect,” according to Huibert Verhoeven, senior VP and general manager of
Synaptics’ IoT division. “These display and connectivity issues can hinder even
the best user experience, which is why Synaptics is focused on tackling these
challenges for new generations of HMDs and a superior HMI experience.”

The
R63455 display driver is optimized for 2,160 × 2,400 resolution @ 90 Hz, while
the VXR7200 supports >2K resolution or faster refresh rates without any
image loss thanks to the cabling.