OPPO wants to outdo Google’s Pixel camera magic

With foldables slowly changing into extra “regular,” smartphone makers are leaping on the following fad in cellular: making their very own in-house processors, identical to Apple’s A and M sequence and Google’s new Tensor chipset. A couple of months again, Vivo debuted its personal V1 picture processor within the Vivo X70 sequence, and now distant relative and rival OPPO is following go well with. On this case, nevertheless, OPPO has the bold purpose of surpassing Google in terms of computation pictures and AI-powered picture processing.

Picture: OPPO

Cellular Pictures

Cameras have change into a important a part of smartphones, however not simply due to their {hardware}. Whereas the picture sensor and lenses work collectively to provide high quality photographs, that’s solely half of the story. Digital camera {hardware} is restricted by the legal guidelines of physics and product design, however software program is nearly limitless, hampered solely by the silicon upon which it runs.

Google has confirmed for the reason that early days of its Pixel smartphone line that the correct software program can do seemingly magical issues with common digicam {hardware}. In actual fact, it was simply with the most recent Pixel 6 that Google lastly determined to offer its digicam modules a long-overdue improve, and it was in a position to take action confidently as a result of it launched a brand new Tensor processor for these telephones.


Customized-made processors are nothing new, however they’ve change into extra fashionable, particularly with the high-profile success of the Apple Silicon M sequence for laptops. The continuing provide scarcity isn’t discouraging cellphone makers from taking the danger, even when on a barely smaller scale than a full-blown software processor. OPPO isn’t one to be left behind and its new self-designed processor appears to convey one thing new on the desk.

OPPO MariSilicon X

The corporate’s new processor is technically labeled a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), and its main function is to offer the muscle for synthetic intelligence and machine studying operations. So far as that processing energy is anxious, OPPO says that the 6nm MariSilicon X is able to 18 trillion operations per second (TOPS) with an influence draw of 11.6 TOPS per watt. OPPO will use its new processor for extra than simply general-purpose AI options, thoughts, revealing that its {hardware} will even be used to enhance cellular pictures.

In actual fact, it’s cellular pictures that offers the MariSilicon X a barely totally different design in comparison with run-of-the-mill NPUs. For instance, it has its personal picture processing unit (ISP) and devoted DDR reminiscence with an ultra-fast bandwidth of 8.5 GB/s. All of those are designed to allow high-speed processing of enormous quantities of knowledge, significantly coming from a cellphone’s digicam.

Picture Credit score: OPPO

On paper, OPPO boasts the MariSilicon X is able to real-time 4K 20-bit HDR processing of RAW information, testifying to its number-crunching capabilities. This might increase a cellphone’s Night time Imaginative and prescient efficiency even with 4K decision, in addition to noise discount capabilities. The cellphone maker additionally mentions that the NPU goes completely with the RGBW imaging sensor that it introduced again in August, although a cellphone with that {hardware} nonetheless hasn’t popped up. That may change within the first quarter of 2022 when the following Discover X flagship — most probably the OPPO Discover X4 — arrives with each the RGBW sensor and, in fact, the brand new MariSilicon X NPU.

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