OPPO announce 6nm Imaging NPU & OPPO Air Glass AR glasses

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Yesterday, OPPO held its annual technology event, OPPO INNO DAY 2021, in Shenzhen, China.

During the event, they announced two new pieces of interesting technology and they will officially announce its first foldable smartphone, OPPO Find N, today.

OPPO’s First 6nm Cutting-edge Imaging NPU – MariSilicon

MariSilicon X features an advanced NPU, ISP and Multi-tier Memory Architecture that delivers incredible image processing power with ultra-high power efficiency. MariSilicon Xenables 4K AI Night Video to be captured in the RAW domain using complete image data for the first time on Android smartphones. The cutting-edge Imaging NPU will make its debut on the Find X Series in Q1 2022, making it one of the most advanced commercialised imaging NPU on a smartphone yet.

My technical expertise is somewhat limited, so I am not entirely sure how OPPO will integrate the MariSilicon into one of their smartphones. You can't just add this new chip to the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. It is called a system on chip for a reason, everything is integrated.

There have been rumours that they are developing their own custom SoCs for 2023 or 2024 with OPPO reportedly aiming to use TSMC’s advanced 3nm process technology for the chips.

One possibility is to use the MediaTek Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture. However, I am not sure how extensive the customisations are for the Open Resource Architecture. Most of the custom chips launched so far have had minor tweaks, not an entirely new piece of hardware added.

OPPO Air Glass

OPPO also announced the OPPO Air Glass which is a ground-breaking aR (assisted Reality) device that features a revolutionary monocle waveguide design inspired by the wings of the cicada, giving it a lightweight and minimalist appearance. It provides practical functions such as navigation, health data monitoring, teleprompter and live speech-to-text translation without the burden of a large and heavy device. 

OPPO Air Glass is equipped with a self-developed compact projection system — the Spark Micro Projector — and a bespoke optical diffraction waveguide, delivering a vivid and sharp aR display in all types of environments. The device can be operated using OPPO smartphones and smartwatches. It also supports different intuitive interactions such as touch, voice, and motion controls, enabling users to obtain the information quickly and conveniently.

Overall

OPPO are clearly eager to be one of the main players in the consumer tech market. It is good to see them branch out into their own unique hardware.

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