Qualcomm, Meta, Intel want AR/VR apps to coexist with radar

A group of companies including Qualcomm, Intel and Meta Platforms is asking the FCC to divide the 60 GHz band into three segments so that augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality/extended reality (AR/VR/MR/XR) applications can coexist with radar applications in the 57-64 GHz spectrum range that makes up the 60 GHz band.

The 60 GHz band is unlicensed and considered a key band for applications such as AR/VR/MR/XR because it has enough bandwidth and can provide low latency communications.

The companies want to amend the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM), which would revise transmission power limits for fixed and mobile radar devices that currently operate on an unlicensed basis in the 60 GHz band. The NRPM is looking for input on whether the FCC should permit certain radar devices to operate across the entire 60 GHz band at the same power level currently permitted by communications devices.

The FCC’s NRPM is concerning to Qualcomm, Intel and Meta because the companies believe that revising the transmission power limits will negatively impact latency causing a poor user experience for any AR/VR/MR/XR applications. According to the companies, the FCC NRPM would permit “unfettered pulsing” by radar devices that would increase latency nearly 300%, from 7 milliseconds to more than 20 milliseconds.