Going inside the Windows-based virtual reality device.

The Acer Windows Mixed Reality is a virtual reality headset introduced in 2017. The form factor is 2.9" x 7.78" x 4.3" (152.7 x 119.1 x 119.1mm) and weighs 6 oz. (171g) with the battery. It comes with a 2.9" x 2" high-resolution LCD module. The headset has two “fish-eye sensors” on the front of the device for inside-out tracking, which eliminates external sensors, an integrated gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer for six-degrees-of-freedom positional tracking.

The motherboard is double-sided SMT. The active components include an STM ARM Cortex-M3 74MHz microcontroller, Lattice LIF-MD6000 FPGA (possibly for image processing), Cypress CYUSB3064 MIPI CSI-2 to USB bridge controller, CYUSB3304 USB 3.0 hub, Realtek ALC4040 audio chip, Analogix SlimPort HDMI-to-display port converter, an Analogix SlimPort Display port receiver, and a VR chip that outputs to two displays. The memory is Winbond 8Mbit serial flash.

Two flex circuits connect the LCD board to the main board, and a third flex circuit connects the IR sensor. The two cameras are also connected by flex circuits. Each camera has an underside heat sink.

Figure 1.  The main board of the Acer AH101 VR headset.

Figure 2. Are headsets like these the new “reality?”

Ed.: Figure 1 is courtesy of Shachar Weis (

Mike Buetow is editor in chief of PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY;

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