Displace some of the broader local business push to bolster R&D in semiconductors
Oppo on Wednesday unveiled its second self-designed chip and latest augmented reality glasses in its latest effort to bolster its research and development prowess and accelerate its transformation from smartphone vendor to tech company amid heightened global competition.
The move is part of broader efforts by Chinese companies to boost R&D in semiconductors, as they attach more importance to innovation in crucial technologies and aim to have more of a say in industrial supply chains.
As Oppo’s second custom-developed chip after the MariSilicon X dedicated imaging chip, the Mari-Silicon Y is not a successor, but rather a Bluetooth audio chip.
MariSilicon Y enables a 50% increase in Bluetooth bandwidth over its main rivals, Oppo said.
Jiang Bo, Senior Director of Chip Products at Oppo, said that as a flagship chip with advanced technologies, MariSilicon Y can help improve “sound quality” and “intelligence” in the audio experience of the device. ‘user.
At an event on Wednesday, Oppo also unveiled its latest AR glasses. Weighing just 38 grams, the new gadget is capable of making calls, performing real-time translation, providing location-based navigation, converting voice to text for the hearing impaired and more. The lenses also support vision correction, Oppo said.
Oppo is among the top 10 companies that have filed the most VR and AR patent applications globally over the past two years, according to data from Singapore-based R&D analytics provider PatSnap.
The results came after Oppo doubled its resources dedicated to R&D. This year, it announced its intention to recruit more than 2,000 R&D talents, in addition to its more than 10,000 existing R&D employees.
Chen Mingyong, Founder and CEO of Oppo, said the company aims to be a technology pioneer through long-term contribution to R&D. “We have the capacity to sharpen a sword in 10 years. We will intensify our efforts to build our technical fluke.”
Oppo is among a growing number of Chinese smartphone vendors stepping up efforts to bolster semiconductor technologies. Its Chinese counterpart Vivo unveiled its self-designed V2 imaging chip in November, after securing the top spot in the Chinese smartphone market in the third quarter of this year, despite the overall market decline.
Since 2021, Vivo has launched two self-developed chips, V1 and V1+. The V2 adopts an AI image signal processor architecture, bringing overall improvements in on-chip memory, AI calculation and image processing units.
Huang Tao, vice president of Vivo, said Vivo will step up efforts to improve mobile imaging capabilities through internal R&D as well as joint innovation, the company added.
Xiang Ligang, general manager of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecommunications industry association, said Chinese companies increasingly value strong R&D inputs in crucial technologies such as chips, AR and the VR.
In a context of increased competition, Oppo has also worked hard to develop its patent portfolios globally.
Last week, Oppo and Huawei Technologies Co announced that they had signed a global patent cross-licensing agreement, which covers patents essential to cellular standards, including 5G.
Feng Ying, director of intellectual property at Oppo, said the move demonstrates that both companies greatly recognize and respect the value of each other’s intellectual property. It’s a win-win deal for both parties.
Last year, Oppo became the second most active Chinese patent applicant in Europe, according to the Munich-based European Patent Office. It was also one of many Chinese companies to make the Top 50 US patent rankings in 2021, according to data from US patent services provider IFI Claims.
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