Chinese smartphone maker OPPO is reportedly developing a new high-end custom chipset for its smartphones. This comes after the release of the Google Pixel 6, which uses Google’s custom Tensor chipset.
The report comes from Nikkei (via), which cites two people familiar with OPPO’s plans to launch custom flagship SoCs. This chipset will reportedly arrive by 2023 or 2024, although it is dependent “on the speed of development.”
The Chinese OEM reportedly wants to leverage TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing process for this new chipset. OPPO currently uses chipsets produced by MediaTek and Qualcomm, a practice that’s followed by practically every Chinese smartphone manufacturer.
This became the norm after U.S. sanctions led to a decline of Huawei’s high-end SoC business. Meanwhile, manufacturers like Samsung and Apple have long designed custom chips for their devices. However, Samsung is still reliant on Qualcomm for a portion of its mobile SoCs.
OPPO’s custom chipset could spell bad news for Qualcomm
Previously, fellow Chinese OEM Xiaomi released its own SoC known as the Surge 1 in 2017. This low-end chip was used on the budget-ranged Mi 5C. However, Xiaomi has cut down its ambitions in the SoC business since then. It now focuses on providing components like image signal processors to device makers.
IDC ranks OPPO in the fourth spot among the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers in terms of shipments. So this news may not go down well with Qualcomm, which took a subtle jibe at Google last week following the hype surrounding the Google Tensor SoC.
Custom SoCs by OPPO would inevitably flow into Vivo, Realme, and even OnePlus phones given the partnership these companies enjoy. If you’re unaware, these mobile brands (and more) are owned by Chinese smartphone giant BBK Electronics.
OPPO is an ambitious brand with steep goals for the future. The company has already laid out plans for foldable and even rollable smartphones. It revealed a concept of the rollable OPPO X 2021 last year, which certainly piqued our collective imaginations. However, the phone isn’t widely available yet as mass production remains a concern.
The manufacturer has further said that its first tablet will arrive by the first half of 2022. OPPO is seemingly developing a version of ColorOS meant for tablets. So there’s a lot going on for the manufacturer already.