Google has introduced their custom-designed Tensor chip with the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. Xiaomi has been rumored to be working on its own chipset, and now, another Android smartphone manufacturer, Oppo, has also developed its own custom chipset. The custom smartphone chipset developed by Oppo will be known as MariSilicon X. Some of the details about Oppo’s very own MariSilicon X chipset have been hovering online. But wait, don’t get very excited about it; there’s a catch about it. Let’s take a closer look at them.
What is MariSilicon X?
MariSilicon X is Oppo’s first in-house image processor manufactured on a 6 nm process. The chip combines an ISP, an NPU, and a “multi-tier memory architecture.” The company claims to process RAW files in real-time and capture “4K AI Night Video” with a live preview.
Oppo’s MariSilicon X NPU will improve photography in the upcoming Find X series.
We already know that smartphone processors include an ISP, which is important in the device’s photography and videography capabilities. However, adding a dedicated chipset, particularly for photography, can improve the devices’ photography capabilities. Until the Pixel 3 series, Google also used their custom chipset for photography. Oppo’s upcoming flagship smartphone, the Oppo Find X4/X5 Pro, will use a custom-designed chip to handle the device’s camera.
In a media announcement about the chipset, OPPO’s senior director of imaging, Bo Jiang, said that while physical constraints in smartphones limit how much camera hardware can be improved — there’s only so much room for a larger sensor or a longer zoom lens, for example — “Software algorithms offer unlimited possibilities — and this is why OPPO developed the MariSilicon X.”
The MariSilicon X is based on a 6nm fabrication process and combines an advanced NPU, ISP, and multi-tier memory architecture in a single chip, which could revolutionize smartphone photography. The company also claims that the MariSilicon X chipset enables new achievements that were previously impossible to achieve with the Snapdragons’ ISP. During the media briefing, OPPO displayed samples of photos and videos captured in difficult conditions (extreme low light, against harsh backlight) by a MariSilicon X device (presumably the Find X4/X5 Pro) and the Find X3 Pro (which uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888’s ISP), with the MariSilicon X samples clearly outperforming the Find X3 Pro.
The MariSilicon X further comes with a list of impressive specifications dedicated to photography, such as a Lossless imaging pipeline, 20-bit Ultra HDR image processing, 4K Night video, 4K Ultra HDR video, RGBW Pro Mode, and 6nm advanced fabrication node. Ultimately, we would like to confirm that this chipset is made for photography only. The device will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset only.