Sony has been rumored to be working on its own system-on-chip for its smartphones since back in 2015, and an anonymous tip indicates that the company may finally be ready to show the fruits of its labors in the form of a new flagship sporting the chip, rumored to be unveiled at this year’s IFA event on August 31. Details on how the chip will perform are scant, but Sony typically announces its newest flagship devices at IFA, so unless this year is any different, performance to rival the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is the very least that can logically be expected, if this rumor turns out to be true.
Previous rumors held that Sony is planning on introducing two new devices at this year’s IFA, and at least one would take on the nearly bezel-free look inspired by iconic devices like the Xiaomi Mi MIX and Samsung Galaxy S8, a vast departure from previous Xperia designs that depend on large top and bottom bezels in front in order to house top-of-the-line imaging equipment and help balance out the phone’s design. This could mean that Sony is prepping for a full-on mobile rebirth, unveiling a brand new design philosophy and custom internals to go with it. The in-house chip could, of course, simply serve as a more cost-effective alternative for a mid-ranger or high-end budget device than resorting to a last-generation Qualcomm processor or the latest from MediaTek.
A custom chip would allow Sony far tighter integration of hardware and software in devices that use the chip, and would likely be cheaper for both Sony and the end consumer than sourcing a comparable SoC from elsewhere. Sony is certainly not alone in that philosophy; Samsung’s in-house Exynos chips power its Galaxy devices in a large number of key markets, Huawei’s Kirin chipsets are made to compete with Qualcomm’s latest while integrating tightly with the company’s smartphones, and Xiaomi recently put out its very first custom chip, deciding to give first-party SoC development a try after years of sourcing Qualcomm and MediaTek silicon for all of its devices. That said this is a rumor, and should be taken as such. In any case, Sony fans will be able to see for themselves whether the company has been working on a custom chip and just how powerful it is, if it exists, when Sony presents at IFA.