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VR’s Biggest Players Back New ‘VirtualLink’ Connector for Next-gen Headsets

Zenbane
Level 16

There is a "VR Consortium" working together, and it's glorious:


A consortium representing many of VR’s most prominent players—NVIDIA, AMD, Valve, Oculus, and Microsoft—have backed a new connector standard called VirtualLink which the companies say was “developed to meet the connectivity requirements of current and next-generation virtual reality (VR) headsets.”

Today the newly christened consortium revealed VirtualLink, an “open industry standard” which is an “Alternate Mode” of USB Type-C, the newest type of USB plug. The purpose of VirtualLink, say the companies, is to not only condense VR headset plugs down to a single, thin cable, but also to meet the needs of next-gen headsets.


EDIT:

Technical Detail Info below,


To fulfill the promise
of next-generation VR, headsets will need to deliver increased display
resolution and incorporate high-bandwidth cameras for tracking and
augmented reality. VirtualLink connects with VR headsets to
simultaneously deliver four high-speed HBR3 DisplayPort lanes, which are
scalable for future needs; a USB3.1 data channel for supporting
high-resolution cameras and sensors; and up to 27 watts of power.

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/07/17/1538342/0/en/New-Open-Industry-Standard-Introduced...


Current VR headsets plug their display connectors directly into the GPU
for video output and separately connect over USB to the motherboard for
data I/O. A VirtualLink connector built into the GPU would make sense
considering that’s where the image rendering is happening, but then the
GPU would be responsible for the extra task of transferring data I/O to
the motherboard and back. Conversely, a VirtualLink connector on the
motherboard would ostensibly need to pipe data from the GPU through the
motherboard before reaching the connector and the headset.

https://www.roadtovr.com/virtuallink-port-next-generation-vr-headset-connection-nvidia-amd-valve-ocu...


15 REPLIES 15

bigmike20vt
Level 14
Yep a positive step ...... This is great news. OpenXR next please 🙂
Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂

kzintzi
Level 10
I saw this myself this morning :smile: having a standard VR connector will bring us further into the mainstream :smiley:


Though you are more than slightly incoherent, I agree with you Madam,
a plum is a terrible thing to do to a nostril.

SapowiTz
Level 4
Thats brilliant!!
It really needs to become more plug n play vs todays standards if they want it out to the masses! I personally had my share of diffuculties with USB and power settings, and im fairly patient and persistent, but if about 80% of my friends had that kinda hazzle setting it up, they would have giving up long before they got an actual image in the display!!

Im pretty sure it never will become anything other than a niche product (VR in general) though. Personally I bought 2x Rifts and happy to host VR racing events with my brother, but among lots of friends also into gaming, non of them is specially interestet in VR... they think its a fun thing for 5 minutes and moves on. Just hope VR got that much of a foothole that It will be enough to make headsets for the simulating (racing/flying) community.

But good news to VR in general!!

LuluViBritannia
Level 9
I saw that this morning, was a bit excited... and then, realized it won't be implemented before a very long time anyway. That's the issue with hardware changes. I may be wrong of course, but I really don't see VirtualLink implemented for gen 2. Probably gen 3.
I was more hyped for OpenXR, because the way the VR market is right now, it definitely needs a bit of software standard.
Hyped for the Quest 2!


My hopes for VR next gen:
- Full Body Tracking. Come on, Oculus!
- Eye tracking with foveated rendering. Must reduce the power needs!
- More big-scale games. I need a true VRMMORPG!
- Bigger community.

"If you don't mind, do you want me to take you there? Where dreams come true."

snowdog
Level 16
Surely you're going to need 2 cables/connections? One for power (USB) and one for video and sound (HDMI or Display Port?
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

bigmike20vt
Level 14
isnt the point of it that the new  socket will supply power and data?
Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂

snowdog
Level 16


isnt the point of it that the new  socket will supply power and data?



But that would mean not having the headset connected to your GPU.
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

Zenbane
Level 16

snowdog said:


But that would mean not having the headset connected to your GPU.



Not necessarily. The GPU's could be upgraded to physically support this. Or the GPU can simply come with a connector that splits the signals.

But my bad, I just realized now that I didn't include a link to any technical details about this.

To fulfill the promise
of next-generation VR, headsets will need to deliver increased display
resolution and incorporate high-bandwidth cameras for tracking and
augmented reality. VirtualLink connects with VR headsets to
simultaneously deliver four high-speed HBR3 DisplayPort lanes, which are
scalable for future needs; a USB3.1 data channel for supporting
high-resolution cameras and sensors; and up to 27 watts of power.

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/07/17/1538342/0/en/New-Open-Industry-Standard-Introduced...


Current VR headsets plug their display connectors directly into the GPU
for video output and separately connect over USB to the motherboard for
data I/O. A VirtualLink connector built into the GPU would make sense
considering that’s where the image rendering is happening, but then the
GPU would be responsible for the extra task of transferring data I/O to
the motherboard and back. Conversely, a VirtualLink connector on the
motherboard would ostensibly need to pipe data from the GPU through the
motherboard before reaching the connector and the headset.

https://www.roadtovr.com/virtuallink-port-next-generation-vr-headset-connection-nvidia-amd-valve-ocu...



snowdog
Level 16
Ah, that makes more sense!

Probably won't see that until the third generation then I reckon.
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever