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Wearable Tech

A Facebook-designed CPU? Job postings hint at Facebook silicon for AR glasses

It's been working on AR glasses to complement its Oculus VR headset, but now it looks like it wants to design its own silicon.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Engineers wanted to design custom chips for Facebook in its ongoing efforts to break through in AR, in addition to Oculus' ongoing VR work. 

That's according to a report in The Information (paywalled) that found several job listings over the past few days. For example, the listing for a Digital Design Engineer provides more details about Facebook's direction with the hardware:

Compute power requirements of Augmented Reality require custom silicon. Facebook Silicon team is driving the state of the art forward with breakthrough work in computer vision, machine learning, mixed reality, graphics, displays, sensors, and new ways to map the human body. Our chips will enable AR devices where our real and virtual world will mix and match throughout the day. We believe the only way to achieve our goals is to look at the entire stack, from transistor, through architecture, to firmware, and algorithms.

The move isn't too surprising. Facebook's been working for a while on AR glasses, and joins the parade of companies -- including Apple, Microsoft and Magic Leap -- who've realized they need to design their own chips in order to deliver AR and VR experiences optimized for their specific platforms. Consumer VR hasn't taken off as fast as some had hoped, while AR, which merges the real world and the virtual, has been seeping into our apps and feeling a lot more mainstream.

We reached out to Facebook for additional details but didn't immediately hear back.

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