Monday, 25 October 2021 10:51

OPPO reported to be planning own SoCs for top-end smartphones Featured

OPPO reported to be planning own SoCs for top-end smartphones Image by Rattakarn_ from Pixabay

Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO, part of the giant B.B.K. Electronics group, is set to start designing its own chips for its high-end smartphones, the Nikkei Asia website claims, adding that this was understood to be a bid to rid itself of dependence on suppliers like Qualcomm and MediaTek.

The report said the first fruits of this venture would emerge in either 2023 of 2024, citing two unnamed people as sources.

OPPO was the fifth biggest manufacturer in terms of shipments in the third quarter of this year, according to figures from tech analyst firm Canalys, accounting for 10% of the market, behind Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi and its stablemate vivo.

Apple, Samsung, Google, Xiaomi and Huawei already design their own SoCs. But Xiaomi has yet to use an in-house designed SoC in any of its devices.

The report said OPPO planned to use semiconductors used with 3nm production technology, and get the SoCs made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the only fab that makes chips using this technology apart from Samsung.

The Nikkei Asia report quoted Brady Wang, an analyst with Counterpoint Research, as saying: "If everyone is using Qualcomm's chipsets for flagship phones, then it's very hard to claim that you have unique performance and products.

"Meanwhile, you have to compete for allocations of chips and resources with your competitors during a time of shortage, and do not have direct visibility of your chip supply chain."

Huawei has been unable to manufacture any of its Kirin processors for a while, due to American sanctions. Its share of the smartphone has fallen to a fraction of what it enjoyed earlier.

Added Wang: "We still don't see very successful cases following Apple, Huawei and Samsung.

"After all, there are entry barriers, and the continuous effort of a large team is needed, as are complicated system integrations. Costs are also increasing as chip manufacturing technology advances."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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