Oppo may start designing in-house chipsets for smartphones
PhoneArena reports that Oppo’s Integrated Circuit Design subsidiary Shanghai Zheku has begun work on an AP (Applications processor) for the company. The AP chipset can be used on smartphones. According to the report, TSMC is building this chip using the foundry’s 6nm process node. It is expected that it will be in mass production by 2023.
Oppo may also be developing a powerful, energy-efficient chip which could launch in 2024. This chip will be manufactured by TSMC using its 4nm processing node. Although the 4nm chipset will include a 5G modem as well, it’s not clear if Oppo will design its modems, or rely on third-party suppliers such as Qualcomm, Samsung, and others.
Oppo’s upcoming AP, which will be produced in 2023 using the 6nm node process node, is expected to be used for its flagship models. Next year’s chip production will serve as a pilot run to help the company determine if it should continue to develop better chips each year and ultimately design one for its flagship model. The 4nm chip planned for 2024 will be a flagship model. OnePlus could also use Oppo-designed chipsets in future.
Apple’s A-series chips were designed and manufactured from TSMC instead of using a Qualcomm chip or a MediaTek processor. Samsung has been making and designing its chips for many years. Google recently stopped using Qualcomm chips in its Pixel devices. Instead, the company created its own SoC to power the Pixel 6 series smartphones.
Earlier, Huawei also created its chips using the HiSilicon unit. However, US sanctions in 2020 made obtaining the most recent chips for Chinese manufacturers extremely difficult, even for those it had already designed. Huawei had to use Snapdragon 888 chipsets without 5G Kirin technology because it ran out of 5G Kirin chipsets. In the old days, Huawei was TSMC’s second largest customer after Apple.