[Core making]OPPO | Confirmed core making, the first chip is suspected to be ISP

According to the news on Tianyancha, Dongguan Oppo Communication Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of OPPO, has changed its business scope, adding design, development, and sales of semiconductor machine components. The fact of the chip has been determined, and the first chip may be an ISP.

OPPO established a chip technology committee as early as October 2019, and also named the chip self-research: “Mariana Project”, and also applied for the OPPO M1 trademark in October 2020. However, the well-known digital blogger @Digital Chat Station previously broke the news that the first project results produced by OPPO’s “Mariana Project” will be released soon, but it is not the most anticipated mobile SOC chip. It can be said that in combination with this series of exposed information, OPPO M1 is likely to be the name of the self-developed ISP chip. This also makes everyone think that after the establishment of OPPO’s “Mariana Plan”, the results will soon surface.

It is reported that OPPO is developing its own ISP chip (image signal processor) to strengthen the technology in image processing. ISP is mainly used for the image signal output by the sensor. It is the core component of image processing and plays an important role in the performance of mobile phone images.

Usually the ISP is packaged with the mobile phone processor, and it is rumored that Qualcomm’s ISP also needs to be purchased at a separate cost. If you want to use a good ISP, you must communicate with Qualcomm in advance, and then package it in the processor together.

However, Qualcomm updates the mobile phone SoC every year, which also means that the ISP must also be iterated all the time, which leads to the mobile phone manufacturer having to purchase additional new ISPs if they want better imaging results.

Perhaps in order to reduce dependence on Qualcomm and strengthen the mastery of core technologies, major manufacturers have begun to develop their own ISPs. At the same time, the self-developed ISP can also better adapt to the product and output higher-quality images.

Recently, a social media blogger broke the news that OPPO is also developing an ISP, which means that OPPO’s first chip is very likely to be an ISP. In October 2020, the OPPO M1 trademark was applied for. As the code name of OPPO’s first self-developed chip, it is likely to be this ISP rather than the SoC of the mobile phone.

In the first half of this year, Xiaomi also launched its own ISP chip, Surging C1, which was used in Xiaomi’s first foldable mobile phone for two purposes. Xiaomi Surging C1 has a dual filter configuration, which can realize parallel processing of high and low frequency signals, and the signal processing efficiency is increased by 100%. With the self-developed algorithm, the 3A (AF, AWB, AE) performance of the image is greatly improved.

The Surging C1 has better autofocus (AF), greatly improving the ability to focus in low light, small objects and flat areas; more accurate white balance (AWB), fully control complex mixed ambient light; and more accurate auto exposure ( AE) strategy.

There is not much news about OPPO at present, including when this ISP will be released, but the products most likely to be equipped with this chip may be OPPO’s Find X4 series, or OnePlus phones that have been incorporated into sub-brands by OPPO. .

It is worth noting that the current mobile phone manufacturers, such as Xiaomi and OPPO, choose to start with ISP and re-enter the field of chip manufacturing. On the one hand, it is to assist their products to have better performance in the imaging system. Start with a simple ISP and prepare for the real mobile SoC in the future.

At the same time, in order to recruit related chip talents, news has been released before that, with an annual salary of more than 400,000 yuan, graduate students in integrated circuits are recruited. And it is learned from the market that the minimum annual salary for chip talents given by OPPO in 2020 will also reach 310,000. Relevant sources revealed that the scale of OPPO’s chip department has reached about 1,000 people.

At the same time, OPPO not only founded its own chip company, but also invested in a number of chip companies, such as Ruishi Chuangxin, Changjing Technology, Hanwei Microelectronics, and Nanxin Semiconductor. It is understood that in 2021 alone, OPPO has invested in 5 semiconductor companies. Currently, it has invested in 11 companies in the chip industry, covering areas such as chip design, MLCC, and IC manufacturing.

However, at present, the news of OPPO’s ISP has come out, which at least proves that OPPO’s core making is not just talk. On the other hand, the research and development of ISP is obviously a test of the current domestic manufacturers.

This is also inseparable from OPPO’s strong self-research strength. According to relevant data, as of June 30, 2021, OPPO’s global patent applications exceeded 65,000, and the number of global authorizations exceeded 30,000. Among them, the number of invention patent applications exceeded 58,000, and invention patent applications accounted for 90% of all patent applications. It is worth mentioning that, at present, the number of OPPO imaging patents in the world has exceeded 8,800, and more than 3,500 have been authorized. It can be said that as a global technology company, OPPO has a wealth of intellectual property reserves, which has also invested a lot of resources in the field of technology research and development. Through continuous technological innovation, it is finally implemented in products and brings stronger competitiveness. .

In general, the smartphone imaging competition is becoming more and more intense, and the current self-developed ISP may also become a new trend in the future imaging field. In terms of homogeneous sensors and differentiated image algorithms, major manufacturers have their own mature technologies. However, in terms of ISP processing chips, in order to obtain excellent imaging effects, mobile phone manufacturers look for upstream chip manufacturers to customize, which is expected to bring an exclusive image experience. Today, the exposure of OPPO’s self-developed independent ISP chip, perhaps it carries OPPO’s new pursuit and new dream on the road of imaging. Of course, not only OPPO, I believe that more domestic mobile phone manufacturers will also join the track of self-developed chips, let us wait and see!

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