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Oppo could be the latest smartphone brand to make its own chips

Oppo is reportedly the latest smartphone brand to develop its own chips, following on from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and more recently Google.

There’s an accelerating trend for tech companies to step away from the off-the-shelf chips made by the likes of Qualcomm and MediaTek, and to develop their own bespoke silicon instead.

Yesterday saw a prime example with the official unveiling of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Both phones are powered by Google’s own Tensor chip, opening up a range of machine learning-based enhancements.

Now Oppo is set to join the proprietary processor ranks, according to a new report from Nikkei. The Chinese smartphone brand is said to be intent on reducing its reliance on third party chip makers, and is hiring “top chip developers and artificial intelligence experts” from MediaTek, Qualcomm and Huawei to that end.

The plan is to start using these custom chips based on TSMC’s 3-nanometer process in phones from 2023 or 2024. That could potentially mean the Oppo Find X5 Pro or Find X6 Pro, if the company sticks with its current flagship branding for the next few years.

Oppo is currently the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker by shipments, so this is major news. It could also have much wider ramifications for the Android smartphone world, as the company now counts OnePlus as a subsidiary.

What’s more, Oppo’s parent company BBK Electronics also owns Vivo, Realme, and iQOO. That’s five upwardly mobile smartphone brands that could potentially switch away from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line to these new Oppo chips over the next few years.

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