January 20, 2022

OPPO needs to outdo Google’s Pixel digital camera magic

With foldables slowly turning into extra “regular,” smartphone makers are leaping on the subsequent fad in cell: making their very own in-house processors, similar to Apple’s A and M collection and Google’s new Tensor chipset. Just a few months again, Vivo debuted its personal V1 picture processor within the Vivo X70 collection, and now distant relative and rival OPPO is following swimsuit. On this case, nonetheless, OPPO has the formidable purpose of surpassing Google with regards to computation images and AI-powered picture processing.

Picture: OPPO

Cellular Pictures

Cameras have grow to be a essential a part of smartphones, however not simply due to their {hardware}. Whereas the picture sensor and lenses work collectively to provide high quality images, that’s solely half of the story. Digicam {hardware} is restricted by the legal guidelines of physics and product design, however software program is just about 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 best software program can do seemingly magical issues with common digital camera {hardware}. Actually, it was simply with the most recent Pixel 6 that Google lastly determined to present its digital camera modules a long-overdue improve, and it was ready 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 grow to be extra stylish, particularly with the high-profile success of the Apple Silicon M collection for laptops. The continued provide scarcity isn’t discouraging cellphone makers from taking the chance, even when on a barely smaller scale than a full-blown utility 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 goal is to supply the muscle for synthetic intelligence and machine studying operations. So far as that processing energy is worried, 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} may also be used to enhance cell images.

Actually, it’s cell images 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 huge quantities of information, significantly coming from a cellphone’s digital camera.

Picture Credit score: OPPO

On paper, OPPO boasts the MariSilicon X is able to real-time 4K 20-bit HDR processing of RAW knowledge, 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 subsequent Discover X flagship — most certainly the OPPO Discover X4 — arrives with each the RGBW sensor and, in fact, the brand new MariSilicon X NPU.

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