Like Apple and Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo are also reported to be working on developing their own smartphone chips, according to a report in DigiTimes. According to the new report, Xiaomi and Oppo will introduce their respective in-house sub-6GHz 5G chips between late 2021 and early 2022. It predicted that Chinese chipmaker Unisoc will also join Xiaomi and Oppo in developing its own smartphone processors. The news comes at a time when China’s investment in the semiconductor space is on the rise. The country has ramped up its efforts to produce chips localy so that it doesn’t have to depend on chipmakers abroad.
China’s efforts towards ramping up semiconductor production started a couple of years back when Huawei lost its ability to license semiconductors from TSMC due to the sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump-led US Administration. These harsh restrictions have also prompted other smartphone makers to stay vary of similar fate if the US-China tensions escalate in the future. Previously, Oppo was rumoured to initiate its “Mariana Plan" to produce its own chipsets, which was reported to be led by a former Qualcomm executive. OnePlus and Realme - Oppo’s sister brands have also joined the company’s custom chipset initiative.
Xiaomi also recently announced its first self-developed image signal processing (ISP) chip, the Surge C1, showing that the company can make its own silicon chips if it intends to. Xiaomi has earlier also tried its hand at making a smartphone chip, the Surge S1 chip that was released back in 2017.
Recently, Google was also reported to be working on its own silicon chip for Pixel smartphones. It was reported that the Google Silicon chip may be launched as early as this year (with the Pixel 6) and that Google may be working with Samsung in developing the said chipset.