Developing a custom chip for its smartphone could reduce OPPO’s reliance on Qualcomm, MediaTek and other chip-makers.
OPPO has been working on its custom processor for quite some time after the US banned Huawei. According to a new report, the company has roped in engineers from MediaTek, Qualcomm and Huawei’s HiSilicon engineers to work on its custom M1 processor.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer recently hired top executives from MediaTek and Unisoc, which is China’s second-largest mobile chip supplier, reported Nikkei Asian Review. MediaTek’s ex-co-chief operating officer Jeffery Lu and a former executive with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, are already working with OPPO as a consultant. Another executive from Mediatek’s 5G chip development team will also join OPPO within a couple of months, the report added.
“OPPO has been aggressively recruiting chip talent since last year as they realised that owning the chip design capability will give it more control over its supply chain,” sources familiar with the matter told the website. However, developing a custom chip from scratch is not easy and consumes a considerable amount of time and money, and therefore one should not expect the OPPO mobile chip to be ready anytime soon.
OPPO told the website that it "already” had chip-related capability and that any R&D investment was to “strengthen its product competitiveness and user experience". But, the company did not respond directly to questions about its recent hires.
Developing a custom chip for its smartphone could reduce OPPO’s reliance on Qualcomm, MediaTek and other chip-makers. Furthermore, the chip could also be in development for future-proofing itself in case more Chinese companies are banned from doing business with the US.Currently, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei are the leading manufacturers that use their custom chip in their smartphones.