AMD Betting on Extra-Fast Wi-Fi to Open Up Virtual Reality

Semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is betting that a purchase of a Texas-based chipmaker will help drive the adoption of more portable virtual reality headsets.

Advanced Micro Devices
announced its purchase of Nitero Inc. for an undisclosed price on Monday. Nitero has developed a 60 gigahertz wireless chip that it says can transmit high-resolution video without any delays or lags.

Roy Taylor, AMD’s vice president of alliances, said Wednesday at an industry conference in Bristol, England, that virtual reality’s growth has been held back by VR headsets’ need to be tethered to a personal computer or gaming device with a thick cord.

The Nitero acquisition gives AMD the ability to offer an end-to-end solution for virtual reality and augmented reality, encompassing everything from the computerised brains that process the video, layer it with other digital content, control memory storage and now enable that video to be transmitted wireless, Taylor said in an interview.

Pat Kelly, Nitero’s chief executive officer, said that his company – originally spun out of an Australian government-sponsored research center – was targeting the next generation of virtual reality headgear makers. He wouldn’t say when these new types ofheadsets might come to market.

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