Microsoft has finally revealed exactly what's inside its HoloLens headset. While The Verge got exclusive access to a deconstructed HoloLens developer edition back in April, Microsoft has been keeping the details of its special Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) very secret. Microsoft revealed most of the HoloLens specifications earlier this year, and the special HPU is designed to do most of the processing so the CPU and GPU are able to just launch apps and display the holograms. Microsoft custom designed the HPU and it takes all of the data from the cameras and sensors and processes it in real-time so you can use gestures accurately.
At the Hot Chips conference in California this week, Microsoft devices engineer Nick Baker provided a presentation on exactly what's inside the HPU and how powerful it is. The Register reports that Microsoft's special custom-designed HPU is a TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores. It has around 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM, and an additional layer of 1GB of low-power DDR3 RAM. That RAM is separate to the 1GB that's available for the Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor, and the HPU itself can handle around a trillion calculations per second.
Microsoft's HPU is low-powered so it draws less than 10W from the power supply in order to handle gesture and environment sensing. The Register reports it also includes PCIe and standard serial interfaces, and Microsoft has added 10 custom instructions to speed up special instructions made by HoloLens for its augmented reality algorithms. If you're interested in seeing all the components inside Microsoft's HoloLens then check out our full tear down right here.