Sep 4, 2018
While MediaTek and Qualcomm are among the most popular SoC brands for smartphones, there’s another chipmaker from China that has played an instrumental role in India’s feature phone segment as well as entry-level smartphones. We’re talking about UNISOC (erstwhile Spreadtrum), which merged with leading chip design company RDA in June this year. The rebranding suggests that the company will be competing head-on with the leading processor brands. To understand UNISOC’s plans better and its roadmap, we caught up with Neeraj Sharma, Senior Director, Overseas Sales and Country Head, India.
On UNISOC’s focus for smartphone chipsets
As per Sharma, UNISOC’s focus “would be for smartphones priced under $200.” And to differentiate from the competition, “the brand will be offering features such as AI and support for AR / VR, which aren’t usually seen in this segment“. He gave examples of the latest SoCs from the company – the 9832E and 9863.
The UNISOC 9832E is a quad-core chipset with four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz, coupled with a Mali-T820 MP1 GPU. The silicon supports dual 4G + 4G and supports a single camera of up to 13-megapixels. The UNISOC 9863 on the other hand, is an octa-core SoC with eight Cortex-A55 cores running at 1.6GHz. The chip can support dual cameras of 16MP + 5MP, and also features 3D face unlock.
Mr Sharma also highlighted the fact that “both these chips are pin-compatible with each other.” What this means is that the phonemaker can develop one smartphone design and use both these chipsets, and offer the devices at different price points.
Upon asking about AI capabilities of the UNISOC 9863, Neeraj mentioned “the chipset will offer AI capabilities in the cameras as well as understanding user behaviour to enhance the battery life.” He also said that “the chipset supports AR capabilities that can change the way we shop online.“
On expected timeline of smartphones powered by UNISOC’s latest SoCs
Sharma expounded the fact that both the new chipsets from UNISOC will be focusing on the sub-Rs 7k segment. He foresee that “the 9832E chip will