AMD Captures 83% of the VR Market – Leading in the VR HMD Addressable Market with LiquidVR, Polaris and Other Collaborations

Usman Pirzada
Posted Mar 14, 2016
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AMD’s GDC Capsaicin event is going on right now and will feature a demo of the Polaris 10 GPU as well – which is the “big” Polaris we have all been hearing about. But probably one of the more subtle victories that AMD has enjoyed is the fact that it is now (according to Jon Peddie Research) the proud owner of 83% of the total addressable market for VR HMDs. This includes not only the PC side of things (with Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive) but console based VR solutions, like the Sony PSVR, as well.

AMD has captured 83% of total addressable market for VR HMDs

AMD supplies both next gen consoles with its own brand of APUs which means that console based VR HMD are associated directly with AMD. Any increase in sales of consoles due to the advent of VR will mean AMD profits directly. As far as the PC industry goes, AMD has stated that they are working in collaboration with Oculus and HTC to develop an ecosystem for VR HMDs. Polaris series of GPUs are in fact designed with this very purpose in mind. RTG’s very own Raja Koduri had the following to say about it:

“AMD continues to be a driving force in virtual reality,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “We’re bringing the technology to more people around the world through our efforts to expand the VR ecosystem with VR i-Cafés in China, new Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, and a wide variety of content partners in gaming, entertainment, education, science, medicine, journalism and several other exciting fields.”

AMD is also making VR more easily accessible to consumers and content creators with its GPU certified program featuring the new “Radeon VR Ready Premium” and “Radeon VR Ready Creator” tiers. Its forthcoming Polaris GPUs and award-winning AMD LiquidVR™ technology will simultaneously advance groundbreaking VR-optimized graphics. – Raja Koduri, SVP and Senior Architect RTG (AMD)

AMD is also working with Sulon Technologies Inc. on the Sulon Q™ headset, the world’s first and only all-in-one, tether-free, “wear and play” headset for virtual reality, augmented reality, and spatial computing. Powered by Radeon™ graphics and leveraging AMD’s LiquidVR™ technology for smooth and responsive AR and VR experiences, the Sulon Q™ headset allows users to effortlessly enhance the real world through augmented reality applications, and seamlessly transitions from the real world to virtual worlds.

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AMD has been focusing alot on the VR industry with this generation of GPUs and it aims to make VR within the reach of more consumers (by increasing the total available market). Running virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive requires quite a bit of horsepower, which in the case of the Oculus Rift is 2k resolution at 90 frames per second. This graphical horsepower can be produced by GPUs equivalent (or more) in power to the GTX 970 or the Radeon R9 290. Both these GPUs cost $349. So if we take a look at the sales data of these GPUs as well as the GPUs above this mark, we will be able to calculate something called the total available market for VR – which is the number of users that can actually run any VR product on these headsets. AMD believes, that Polaris architecture will be efficient enough to address this problem:

Now I would like to address a different challenge for us – and that is what is called a Total Available Market. One of the issues we have is the minimum spec for the PCs which will run the Occulus and the HTC headset ant 90 fps and 2k resolution. Now to do that you need either a Radeon 290x or the GTX 970 both of which retail for $349. The challenge that we have is if you look at the total numbers of these GPUs that have been sold, according to JPR, that’s an install base of just 7.5 Million units. Now that’s an issue because it means you can only sell 7.5 Million of anything – because that’s the number that can run those headsets. I am very pleased to tell you that we have invented something called Polaris which we think will address this problem. – AMD’s Roy Taylor

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