Oppo is shutting down the department responsible for developing its MariSilicon X Neural Processing Unit (NPU). The decision to shut down was confirmed to multiple online news portal.
The decision by Oppo to shut down the ZEKU unit that developed the NPU, as well as the MariSilicon Y Bluetooth audio chip, was abrupt and actually surprised virtually all the employees working within the subsidiary. As told to SCMP, one worker told the new portal that they couldn’t even go into the office to get even their laptop.
As to why it shut down the MariSilicon unit, the Chinese brand said in a brief statement that it blamed “Uncertainties in the global economy and smartphone market” and said that it was a difficult decision. However, some experts say that the move comes amidst a change in the business model, where Chinese businesses are moving in line with its government’s drive for semiconductor self-sufficiency.
This, of course, is due to the current sanctions on semiconductors, imposed by the US on China, as the former is trying kneecap what it says is the latter’s advancement in military applications. To be clear, those sanctions do not necessarily target one specific Chinese company, but it is obvious that the current situation has escalated into an economic war between the two economic powerhouses, since the previous Trump administration targetted Huawei.
The MariSilicon X chip made its debut with the launch of Oppo’s 2022 flagship Find X5 Series. You can check out our review of the phone, as we found it a solid flagship, albeit with some questionable decisions with its main camera module as a whole. For another matter, the chip is also present in this year’s Find X6 Series, which launched earlier this year in March.
Beyond the initial statement, Oppo has not provided further comment about the MariSilicon unit shutdown.
(Source: SCMP, Android Authority)
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