Oppo - one of the top mobile brands from China is launching its first image processor in-house dedicated to improving the performance of smartphones' cameras, competing with rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co and Xiaomi in a race for chip design as Beijing pushes for autonomy in the field of semiconductors.
The chip is dubbed MariSilicon X; the new chipset is an artificial neural processing unit (NPU) specifically developed to implement machine-learning algorithms built on the 6-nanometre node technology of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). Oppo claimed that the chip allows for more efficient video and image processing with less battery consumption. The chip was revealed at Oppo's InnoDay celebration on Tuesday.
The first phone with the latest chips is Oppo's Find X series handsets, scheduled to be sold within the second quarter of 2022. In comparison to the Find X3 Pro, the company's flagship phone, Oppo said the MariSilicon X would allow the phone's successors to shoot photographs with four times more dynamic range, create more clear videos in dark conditions process images 20 times more quickly.
As BBK Electronics launched Vivo, Shenzhen-based Oppo was the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the third quarter of 2013, according to Counterpoint, which also included the recently-merged OnePlus brand in its figures for shipment. This is mainly due to its popularity within China and just behind Vivo.
Smartphone giant Oppo launches its first chip, joining Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi in semicondu, Source: Youtube, Asian Tech Info
Oppo is among several Chinese smartphone makers seeking to create its chips following the onset of US sanctions against Huawei, which have slowed the expansion of its chipmaker HiSilicon. Since the manufacturer of telecoms equipment was placed on a blocklist of trade in 2019, Beijing has been accelerating efforts to increase the number of indigenous chip makers both in manufacturing and design.
Huawei's Kirin processors competed with top-of-the-line chipsets from companies like Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm. However, the design house, which needed to outsource the manufacture of their silicon, was unable to keep pace after being shut out of using US technology to create high-end chips.
As Chinese fabrication facilities cannot produce chips using any other technology than the 14-nm process used in node manufacturing, Chinese chipmakers have to use fabs owned through TSMC and Samsung to create smaller semiconductors.
There's a Global Semiconductor Shortage and Here's Why It Matters, Source: Youtube, South China Morning Post
Xiaomi introduced its first chipset in-house, known as it was the Surge S1, in 2017. Since it, the maker of smartphones has been facing "huge challenges" when designing a second chipset, its CEO and founder Lei Jun stated in the past year. However, the efforts are "still in progress." Vivo also revealed the chip that was designed by itself in September.
In the InnoDay event, Oppo CEO Chen noted the importance of having companies control technology within their product.
"A tech company that doesn't have the fundamental technology does not have a future," he said. "A high-end product that does not have basic technology might be nothing more than an unfinished mansion out of the air."
Chip design has evolved into an essential factor in the electronics industry, and tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, and Google boast exclusive features that are only available through their respective hardware. The year before, Apple shocked the industry with its performance and performance. The M1 chip is based on an ARM that it began using for desktop and laptop computers, a market dominated by Intel's x86-based chip TSMC makes the M1.
Why is China Failing at Making Advanced Chips and Boosting Production of Mature Technologies?, Source: Youtube, Asia Updated
The current global shortage of chips due to disruptions in supply chains in the aftermath of the outbreak has favored companies capable of producing at a large scale. This has allowed Apple, the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer, and Samsung to make their chip advantage over rivals with smaller inventories when it comes to keeping the latest devices on hand.
In addition to the brand new processor, Oppo unveiled a new smart glasses pair at the InnoDay event. The company also said it would be available within the very first quarter of the year. Liu Chang, dean of Oppo's Research Institute, said smart glasses could be the third screen after smartphones and smartwatches.
As with other augmented reality glasses such as Oppo's, Air Glass uses a micro projector and LED display to display details such as navigation maps or voice-to-text translations of real-world locations.
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