Oppo develops its own high-end chips for flagship mobile phones, according to a report in Nikkei. Two people who spoke to the newspaper said they plan to release custom SoCs in 2023 or 2024 “depending on the pace of development.” Oppo reportedly wants to use TSMC’s advanced 3nm process technology for the chips.
If the plans work out, Oppo would be the newest major smartphone maker to take control of its own SoC design. Yesterday, Google launched the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, their first phones with a custom SoC called the Tensor. Apple and Samsung are also designing their own smartphone chips, as was Huawei, before US sanctions decimated its cellular business.
Oppo is currently using chips from Qualcomm and MediaTek, like all other Chinese smartphone vendors since the crackdown on Huawei. Xiaomi designed and released a low-end SoC called the Surge S1 for its budget Mi 5C phone in 2017, but since then its chip design efforts have been limited to secondary components like image signal processors.
As Qualcomm in one salty google subtweet Last week, it would be a loser if big companies like Oppo did the SoC design themselves. Oppo is the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world by shipments, according to IDC, and since it shares a supply chain and ownership with Vivo, Realme and OnePlus, chips developed by Oppo could quickly find their way into multi-brand phones.