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OPPO is the latest company to join the custom in-house chip development race

By Sanuj Bhatia October 20, 2021, 5:05 am
OPPO flagship

OPPO is the latest smartphone maker that is said to be developing in-house custom silicon high-end chips for its flagship mobile phones, according to a report from Nikkei Aisa. According to sources who spoke to Nikkei Asia, OPPO plans to roll out its custom developed silicon chip in 2023 or 2024. OPPO’s chip (or a number of chipsets) will be based on TSMC’s 3nm node architecture according to the report.

Custom processors are nothing new. Apple already sold its custom developed chipsets in iPhones since the start. Samsung has also shipped some Galaxy devices with Exynos processors for quite some time now. However, the new wave of custom developed chips started when Apple, last year, moved on to developing custom ARM processor for its Macs. HUAWEI and even Vivo — though it’s only an imaging chip for now — have moved onto developing their own chips. Xiaomi has also announced that it will manufacture its own chips from 2024.

OPPO currently uses chips from Qualcomm and MediaTek for its devices. If OPPO moves on from Qualcomm to its own silicon, it would mean that Qualcomm would loose business from yet another company. Yesterday, when Google announced PIxel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the company openly said that it was moving onto its own Tensor SoC for Pixel devices since they couldn’t fully ulitise the potential of the chipset. Custom chips provide OEMs total control over hardware and software, and even though it sounds bad for companies like Intel and Qualcomm, from what we’ve seen in the past year (Apple’s M1 processor), custom developed chips can deliver better performance and efficiency than chips from third-party manufacturers.

OPPO’s plans for custom chip have been out for a while. It’s Mariana plan leaked a while ago that said OPPO would invest $7 billion on the chip’s research and development over the next three years. When OPPO reveals its first chip will depend on the chipset’s “speed of development.”

Source: Nikkei Asia

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