Samsung made a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset equipped with the Exynos 8895 system-on-chip that was showcased behind closed doors at the latest iteration of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. Reports suggest that the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer created several prototypes of the device to demonstrate the power of its latest Exynos 9 series of chips to clients and also promote the idea of its new flagship SoC powering future untethered VR headsets.
The Exynos 8895 chip is manufactured using Samsung's 10nm FinFET process and ships with eight cores – four Cortex-A53 cores and four custom ones. The chip is equipped with a 20-core ARM Mali G71 mobile GPU that supports 120fps recordings and 4K playback. The Exynos 8895 also ships with a special vision processing unit that's been specifically designed for VR applications and is compatible with motion detection and head tracking technologies. While the chip is seemingly more than capable of powering a standalone VR headset like the one that Samsung reportedly presented behind closed doors during MWC 2017, the Seoul-based tech giant seemingly isn't interested in developing its own untethered headsets in the immediate future. Namely, Samsung just debuted the successor to its original Gear VR that ships with a controller and boasts a wide variety of improvements over the original headset, but still requires a compatible smartphone to operate. The company made no official announcements regarding untethered headsets, meaning it's probably interested in selling the Exynos 8895 chip to third-party manufacturers looking to make their own hardware for the time being.
While it remains to be seen whether the tech industry deems the Exynos 8895 good enough to power a standalone VR headset, Samsung will soon showcase the chip's real capabilities once it debuts the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, both of which are slated to be unveiled on March 29 at a special event in New York City. Samsung's upcoming pair of Android flagships will likely be powered by the Exynos 8895 in the majority of the world, so both devices will serve as a good indicator of what the company's latest and greatest piece of silicon is capable of in everyday use.