In a week full of product presentations, we end with some bitter news: OPPO closes Zeku, its microprocessor design department that gave life to the MariSilicon chip.
At the end of 2021, OPPO surprised us by launching MariSilicon X, its NPU focused on processing the photography and video of its top-of-the-range phones. Now, a year and a half later and after having seen the chip in the OPPO Find X5, the OPPO Reno8 Pro and the Oppo Find X6, the cycle of these chips is over.
MariSilicon X is a chip manufactured in a six-nanometer lithograph that has a series of advantages when processing both video and photos. The first thing is that, as it is focused on a very specific task, energy consumption is very low.
Thus, the OPPO mobiles that integrate it do not use the ISP of the Qualcomm or MediaTek SoC (in the case of Reno8) to perform calculations on photos. MariSilicon takes care of all this, which also allows a much more optimized calculation of HDR, RAW files and photos and videos taken in low light conditions.
It is not cheap to create a chip, but two years after Zeku’s creation and to integrate the chip into only a few devices, OPPO has lowered the blind. The international statement, as we read in the South China Morning Post, points to the “uncertainty in the global economy and the state of the smartphone market” stating, furthermore, that it has been a difficult decision. It is a statement similar to the one obtained by the AndroidAuthority media.
According to the same medium, until two weeks ago Zeku was launching job offers for the development of more microprocessors, since it is a company that has grown rapidly and needed more staff. However, the closure announcement seems to have come overnight to the point that an employee has confirmed to SCMP that they were told not to work on Friday on Thursday.
This movement comes at a time when there are companies that are betting on their own ISPs. Google or Apple centralized them in their Google Tensor and Apple Silicon respectively, Vivo also has its own image chip, the Vivo V1, and Xiaomi has the Surge C1.
Regarding the future of OPPO mobiles with the MariSilicon X chipAbsolutely nothing should happen if you have one of those models, but for the next generations, OPPO terminals will “pull” the ISP integrated into the MediaTek or Qualcomm SoC.
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