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Oppo finally joins the likes of Apple, Google, and Samsung with the launch of its first neural processing unit, otherwise known as NPU, called MariSilicon X, which will give the company’s advanced imaging technology the necessary hardware and it will arrive in 2022. On the first day of its Inno Day 2021, Oppo also unveiled the assisted reality glasses (aR) called Oppo Air Glass, which it will launch commercially next year in China.

“We are living in an unprecedented age, and as a global technology company, we at Oppo feel it is both our duty and our privilege to try and make the world a better place through our technologies, products, and action,” said Tony Chen, founder and CEO of Oppo.

Oppo MariSilicon X

The race to launch custom chips has become neck and neck with more and more brands jumping on the bandwagon. Before Oppo’s debut, tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Samsung have already been using their custom NPUs to enhance their imaging technologies. Similarly, Oppo’s MariSilicon X NPU will allow Oppo phones to process images in a more efficient way, while preserving the most detailed version of the photo.

The biggest change, which Oppo demonstrated during the event, will be how HDR processing takes place in photos. The company said that computational photography – which is mostly the technology behind impressive photo quality such as that on Google Pixel – begins in the YUV stage of image processing. But at this stage, a lot of details are lost. Oppo’s new NPU will allow HDR processing to begin at the very first stage, when the image is in RAW format. That will save both time and the details in images, said Oppo.

Built using the 6nm process, the Oppo MariSilicon X NPU can read and write data at a speed of over 18Gbps, which will allow faster processing of image data between the image signal processor, otherwise known as ISP, and the NPU. And this will result in almost instant clicking of photos.

Besides, the MariSilicon X NPU will allow AI Night Video recording in RAW format, which the company said will be a first on an Android phone. If you wonder that you have heard this somewhere, you probably have. Oppo’s new technology is similar to ProRes video recording that Apple introduced with the iPhone 13 earlier this year. But this technology will benefit mostly creators or people who use smartphones to record movies. And, mind you, the RAW format takes up a lot of space.

Oppo said its MariSilicon X NPU will debut in a Find X series phone in the first quarter of 2022. This means that the Oppo Find X4, or Find X5, if the company decides to skip the number 4, will feature the NPU.

Oppo Air Glass

While Oppo has showcased its smart glass technologies at previous Inno Day events, the latest one, the company says, is its most advanced yet. The Oppo Air Glass features a monocle waveguide design, which the company said is inspired by the wings of the cicada. That design gives the new glass a minimalist appearance while making sure it remains lightweight.

The Oppo Air Glass uses an array of small components, such as Micro LED display, a spark micro projector, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform, and microphones to allow the user to do various things. Weighing just 30 grams, the assisted reality glasses can be used for navigation, checking notifications, and as a teleprompter, among other things.

Oppo has given its Air Glass support for gesture navigation through what is known as the feather shaft and through air gestures that will work with Oppo Watch. Oppo’s glass needs a frame as a mount, so the company is selling two models – a silver half-frame, and a black full-frame – each of which comes in two different sizes. The shaft magnetically attaches to the frame to offer users an enhanced viewing experience in front of at least one eye.

The Oppo Air Glass will need the new Smart Glass App on the Oppo Watch 2 and any Oppo phone that runs ColorOS 11 and above versions. The third-party software support for the Oppo Air Glass includes the Baidu Walk & Bike Navigation and Explore Nearby in China.

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India today

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