A China-based publication Caixin reported that Oppo will step into the mobile chipset making business, “designing and developing” chips for their smartphones, by working with key suppliers. The President of Oppo China, Liu Bo has confirmed that they shall make their own chipsets. This step shall be crucial for the company’s future and like Huawei that has its HiSilicon Kirin Range and Samsung that has the Exynos line of Processors, Oppo too, wants to become self-reliant.
When it comes to SOCs, Oppo’s main partners are Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung. The reports state that from the likes of Qualcomm and MediaTek, the custom made chipsets may cost more than the standard processors. In spite of the fact that the custom processors are costly, the companies still want to become self-reliant. By lessening their dependence on third-parties and offer more competition, the Chinese companies are looking forward to increasing the market share.
M1 could be the first SoC chipset by Oppo
Several chip engineers and high-level executives have been hired from MediaTek and Tsinghua Ungroup-owned Spreadtrum communications by Oppo to work on its own custom made smartphone processors in February. Also, the first proprietary chip by the Chinese company would be called Oppo M1, as per the trademark filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office(EUIPO). Yan Chen, who was associated with Qualcomm earlier, is the person-in-charge for this project in Oppo. Chen had helped in deploying the Snapdragon 615 SoC on the devices of companies like Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei, etc.
The current standoff between China’s biggest tech company, Huawei, and the U.S government over trade practices is the primary reason for Oppo to become self-reliant. China’s tech giant, Huawei was in a deadlock with the US over the business. The chip design licensing firm ARM was asked to suspend the business for a brief period when Huawei was making its own chipsets.
Moreover, Huawei was also dependant on Google’s Android software for its business, over and above other equipment were required for smartphone assembly. Some relief was given to Huawei by the US, which may be short-lived and this forced China’s biggest tech company, Huawei to work on their own Operating System.
For developing the “Mariana Plan” to make in-house mobile phone chipsets, Oppo plans to continue to work closely with its key partners like Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung and this move seems to be crucial to driving growth for the company. Even earlier, Oppo had spoken to develop a homegrown solution for Smartphone SOCs. Oppo’s founder and CEO, Tony Chen had stated in the Inno Day conference that CNY 50 billion for investment was earmarked by the company in key core technologies like hardware, software, and system.
Way back in 2018, even Xiaomi with its custom chips for smartphones, forayed into the chip-making business. It was the Surge S1, the chipset that could have given Xiaomi, better stability in the market and touted as a replacement for the chips that were sourced from Qualcomm and MediaTek. No smartphone was outed by Xiaomi that ran Surge S1. Xiaomi, abandoned its chip-making plans, earlier this year. On the other hand, Huawei with its own SOCs has been shipping out smartphones and is quite successful in this regard.