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VirtualLink standard could pipe VR pixels through one USB-C cable


New Open Industry Standard Introduced for Connecting Next-Generation VR Headsets to PCs, Other Devices

Future VR headsets will connect over a single USB-C cable

It’ll also bring immersive VR to smaller devices such as thin and light notebooks, devices that aren’t necessarily readily compatible with high-end VR headsets because they lack the necessary number of ports. The new headset spec combines four lanes of HBR3 (“high bitrate 3”) DisplayPort video (for a total of 32.4 gigabits per second of video data), along with a USB 3.1 generation 2 (10 gigabit per second) data channel for sensors and on-headset cameras, along with 27W of electrical power.

Unlike other connectivity alternatives, VirtualLink is purpose-built for VR.

One of the nicer things about VirtualLink is that it has been goal built for VR with optimizing latency and keying in on bandwidth demands to make the next generation of VR experiences a much better one.

VirtualLink is an open standard, and the initial specifications can now be found on the consortium website. Details are available at www.VirtualLink.org.

KitGuru Says: This is a good move that will hopefully help cut down on the clutter of VR headsets and improve ease of use.

‘Simulating reality requires incredible visual fidelity and processing power, ‘ explains Jason Paul, general manager of gaming and VR, at Nvidia, one of the founding members of the VirtualLink consortium. Current headsets require multiple connectors to link with a PC; display, typically DisplayPort, data for tracking, typically USB, and power, usually through a DC plug or over a USB charge port. Throw in data for extra controllers, and the wad of cables around your head becomes a bit extreme. “A consolidated connection point is critical in removing barriers to experiencing high-powered PC VR”. “Given Microsoft’s involvement, it may be just a matter of time before we see VirtualLink crop up on a future Windows Mixed Reality headset”.

For further information, contact PR@virtuallink.org.

If you don’t like having to use separate cables with separate virtual reality headsets for PC then rejoice because you may not have to in the future. It makes use of the venerable USB Type-C connector with complimentary standards thrown in by the USB-IF and VESA, creating a single connector interface that does display, data, and power, all in one.



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