SHANGHAI, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Oppo announced on Tuesday a new proprietary chip, as the hardware company moves further into the semiconductor market.
The chip, called MariSilicon X, is a neural processing unit (NPU) that improves image quality for photography and photography in smartphones.
It will be built using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (2330.TW) 6-nanometer process technology and will be included in the company’s upcoming X series of smartphones, set to hit the market published in early 2022.
Oppo is one of China’s best smartphone brands, holding 21% of the domestic market as of the third quarter of 2021, according to research firm Canalys.
The company is owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns Vivo, another popular brand in China. The two companies compete for customers, but have overlapping supply chains.
Both companies have invested heavily in the chip business. In addition to the MariSilicon X, Oppo has also developed a power management chip that it uses in some of its chargers.
In September, Vivo announced that it had developed the image signal processor (ISP) chip it would use in its phones.
The chip effort dovetails with the government’s push for Chinese companies to boost the country’s domestic chip sector, which for years has lagged behind the United States and other East Asian economies.
The need for the personal chip industry emerged last year when U.S. sanctions on Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd ( HWT.UL ) prevented the company from supplying key products.
The measures hurt the company’s mobile phone division as well as its domestic chip division HiSilicon, once the only Chinese smartphone maker that could compete with Qualcomm Inc ( QCOM.O ).
Governments and companies around the world are struggling to support the semiconductor industry after the global shortage caused the manufacturing industry after the crisis of COVID-19. read more
Directed by Josh Horwitz; Edited by Jan Harvey
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