oppo: Oppo may start designing in-house chipsets for smartphones by 2023

BBK Electronics-owned Oppo is now planning to follow the same path that major smartphone makers like Apple, Samsung and Google are on. The Chinese smartphone maker has already designed its ISP (Image Signal Processor), NPU (Neural Processing Unit) and a custom memory architecture that is called the MariSilicon X. It claims to process Oppo’s noise reduction algorithm 20 times faster while using half the power of the current Snapdragon 888 powered flagship smartphone.
According to PhoneArena, Oppo’s Integrated Circuit design subsidiary Shanghai Zheku is working on an AP (Applications Processor) for the company. The AP is a type of chipset that can be used on a smartphone. Reports also suggest that TSMC will build this upcoming chip using the foundry’s 6nm process node and it is expected to enter mass production by 2023.
Oppo is already planning to design a more powerful and energy-efficient chip in 2024 which will also be assembled by TSMC using its 4nm process node. The 4nm chipset will also include a 5G modem, however, it is still unclear if the company will design its modems or will go with third-party suppliers like Qualcomm and Samsung.
The upcoming Oppo’s self-designed AP that will be manufactured in 2023 using the 6nm process node is likely to be used for its flagship devices. The chip production next year will be like a pilot run for the company to understand whether it should continue to design better chips every year and eventually design one for its flagship model. The 4nm chip that is planned for 2024 is more likely to be a flagship material and OnePlus may also use the Oppo designed chipsets in the future.
Apple has designed its A-series chips and built them from TSMC, instead of using a Qualcomm or a MediaTek chipset. Samsung has also been designing and making its chips for a long time. Recently, Google also stopped using Qualcomm chips for its Pixel devices as the company designed its own SoC for the Pixel 6 series smartphones.
Earlier, Huawei also designed its chips using its HiSilicon unit, however, US sanctions in 2020 made it extremely difficult for the Chinese manufacturer to obtain the latest chips for its phones, even the ones that it designed. Huawei was forced to use the Snapdragon 888 chipsets with all 5G technology disabled as the company ran out of its inventory of 5G Kirin chipsets. Back in the day, Huawei was TSMC’s second-largest customer only behind Apple.



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