Chinese smartphone brand Oppo is developing proprietary chips for its flagship handsets in order to reduce the company’s reliance on foreign semiconductor suppliers, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek.
Oppo plans to use its own mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) in phones that will make its debut in 2023 at the earliest, two people with knowledge of the development told Nikkei Asia.
The phone maker plans to partner with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC), the world’s largest semiconductor maker, to produce the chips, equipping them with TSMC’s advanced 3nm process.
If the plans come to pass, Oppo would be part of TSMC’s second batch of customers using this cutting-edge technology, after Apple and Intel. Oppo will also become the latest smartphone company to design its in-house semiconductors. Other firms with the same plan include Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei, and Xiaomi.
Oppo absorbed OnePlus in June, and is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics, which owns Vivo, Realme, and Iqoo. That means after Oppo develops its own chip, it may be installed in phones designed by its sibling brands.
In addition to the smartphone SoC, Oppo is reportedly developing its own Image Signal Processor (ISP) for its smartphone cameras. As more users now prioritize camera capabilities in their selection process for new smartphones, brands such as Xiaomi and Vivo have launched their own ISP chips.
Oppo is now one of China’s biggest Android smartphone vendors. It held a 10% share of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2021, ranking fifth worldwide, according to data from research firm Canalys.