Oppo on course to debuting own chipset

Developing custom chips that are of high performance and at an affordable price is not an easy feat. However, this is what exactly Oppo is trying to do according to a report from a Chinese website, IT home.

According to the report, Oppo’s IC design subsidiary Shanghai Zheku is already in the process of developing an application processor(AP) which the Chinese company hopes to launch in 2023. After the launch, the chipset will directly go into mass production in the same year thus indicating that the company is confident that they are working on a competitive chip.

IT home mentions that the chipset in question will be produced on TSMC’s 6 nm process node. In terms of how this compares to other chipsets from various OEMs, Google’s Tensor, Samsung’s Exynos 2100, Apple’s A15 Bionic, and Snapdragon 888 all use a 5 nm process. The latest snapdragon chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 on the other hand, uses a 4 nm process.

Using a smaller fabrication process does not directly transfer to better performance, however, in most cases, this is true as smaller processes create more room for more transistors to be fitted on a particular chip which in theory should translate to better performance

After the launch in 2023, Oppo then aims to release a system on chip (SoC) that incorporates the application processor and a modem some time in 2024. The company aims to achieve this on a 4 nm fabrication process, which will be truly impressive should their vision come true.

IT home does not go into the details regarding the performance of the chips. Therefore, things like clock speeds, GPU, and the like are still in the air, making it impossible to judge whether OPPO will be targeting the entry-level, middle-range, or the high-end market in terms of performance.

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For years now, Qualcomm and MediaTek have dominated the chipsets industry, especially in the Android space, where all OEMs use their chips to power their phones. However, more companies are now trying to make their own custom chips, as there is a lot of benefit in doing that.

Apple for instance makes its own chipsets which are extremely fast, such that an iPhone released 2-3 years ago will still be able to outperform most Android flagships getting released this year.

In the Android space, Samsung also makes its own Exynos chipsets. However, they have been unable to replicate Apple’s success as their custom chipsets are known to overheat while offering subpar performance compared to the best chips from Qualcomm, which dominates the high-end market for Android.

Late last year, Google joined the party with a custom chipset of their own, the Google Tensor, which powered the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.

Huawei also developed their own custom chips for a while, which they called Kirin. However, they had to bring the operation to a close after the ban from the USA crippled their operations, which necessitated restructuring in how they go about their business.

As for OPPO, only time will tell whether their chips become successful. If they do, the benefit will also flow over to its sister companies Vivo, OnePlus, and Realme.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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