MariSilicon X: the Oppo chip that will revolutionize photo on smartphones

Oppo has unveiled a new chip dedicated to photo and video processing: we'll see it for the first time on the Oppo Find X4 and it promises wonders

It's called MariSilicon X and it's an "NPU", that is, a Neural Processing Unit. To be precise, it's the new Neural Processing Unit for "proprietary state-of-the-art imaging" from Oppo, the well-known Chinese smartphone manufacturer. What does it all mean? That the next Oppo Find X4 smartphone, arriving in the first quarter of 2022, will most likely take exceptional photos.

In recent months we have told you about the arrival of increasingly complex image sensors, such as the 200 MP one from Samsung or the RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White) one from Oppo itself. But we haven't seen these sensors on standard smartphones yet, for a very simple reason: to manage the huge amount of data they produce at each shot, you need an equally huge computing power. MasiSilicon X was created precisely to meet this need and promises wonders, such as the ability to shoot 4K video with night mode, in HDR and with the real-time application of artificial intelligence algorithms to improve every single frame.

Oppo MariSilicon X: how it's made

MariSilicon X is as complex as a real smartphone chip, but its complexity and power are at the service of the photographic compartment only. Inside, in addition to the NPU that handles AI algorithms, there's an Image Signal Processor (ISP) that receives data from photo sensors and processes it, and a dedicated memory.

It's all built at 6 nanometers, the same technology used by chips for top-of-the-line 2020/21 smartphones, to consume less power and heat less.

Oppo MariSilicon X: what it can do

What Oppo MariSilicon X will really be able to do we will only find out at the launch of Find X4, which probably won't even take 100% advantage of this new chip. Oppo promises features dedicated to photo professionals, similar to those available today on Apple's iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.

For example, RAW (i.e., uncompressed, at the highest quality) image processing in real time, with 20-bit HDR and contrast up to 1,000.000:1 between the brightest and darkest areas of the image, but without introducing noise into the images.

With regard to noise reduction, Oppo promises that MariSilicon X will have 20 times more power than what is available today on the Oppo Find X3 Pro, which is equipped with the best chip available today for Android smartphones, namely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888."