“The OPPO M1 processor will reportedly lessen the brand’s dependence on chipmakers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek”
OPPO is reportedly working its own processors for OPPO and (possibly) Realme smartphones. The chipset, which will reportedly be called OPPO M1, has been trademarked on European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and is being developed in order to help the company reduce its dependence on chipset manufacturers such as Qualcomm and MediaTek. OPPO is said to have hired engineers from MediaTek and Spreadtrum to work on the in-house chipset, which is apparently called ‘Mariana Plan’ internally.
A report on the matter by Chinese publication CNBeta cites an internal letter about the chipset dated February 16th, shared with the publication by an OPPO executive. The information seemingly falls in line with OPPO founder and CEO, Tony Chen’s announcement at the Inno Day conference in 2019, which revealed the company’s plans to invest CNY 50 billion over three years in research and development of both hardware and software in the company’s ecosystem. While the specifics of the chipset remain under wraps, OPPO’s chipset development plans are believed to be led by Yan Chen, who previously worked as a principal engineer at Qualcomm Ventures.
While a potential unveiling timeline is not out yet, OPPO’s chipset plans will likely take a couple of years to develop. Introducing an in-house processor requires extensive testing, coupled with partner-based testing for network performance, compatibility, multiple application support issues and more. The CNBeta report further clarifies that internal documents from OPPO have cited the existence of the ‘Mariana Plan’ last year as well, which suggests that work on the chipset has been underway for some time already.
With its own chipset, OPPO will not only be able to free itself from the Qualcomm and MediaTek driven duopoly in the chipset market, but also be able to customise its performance requirements better, than having to source a processor and then work its software around it. So far, Apple, Samsung and Huawei are the most notable companies that make and actively use their own SoCs, while Xiaomi also has its own ‘Surge’ range of in-house SoCs. However, the latter still relies on Qualcomm and MediaTek for most of its smartphone chipsets.