Chinese smartphone giant Vivo recently posted several chip-related job openings, including one for a director of image signal processor (ISP) chips with an annual salary of up to RMB 1.8 million ($280,000), according to information from recruiting site BOSS Zhipin.
The position requires more than 10 years of experience in ISP image processing algorithms and design-related work, with key responsibilities including team formation and technical planning, the job posting showed.
In September 2019 Vivo applied for the trademarks "Vivo SOC" and "Vivo chip", covering a range of processor-related products, including central processing units, modems, computer chips, printed circuits, and computer storage devices.
Vivo did start thinking about getting deeply involved in chip SoC design a year and a half ago, said Hu Baishan 2019, Vivo's executive vice president.
He said Vivo has launched a plan to recruit a large number of chip talents and proposed to build a chip team of 300-500 people in the future, but the team will not be a pure chip R&D team.
In July, jiemian.com reported that Vivo's first in-house developed chip, internally codenamed "Yueying", would be launched soon.
The details of the chip's functionality has not been clear yet, but it could be a chip designed to improve imaging capabilities, the report said.
The chip is a symbol of core technology, Apple is also accelerating the process of in-house developed chips in the past two years, and Huawei's success in the high-end cell phone market is largely due to the advanced in-house developed chip.
Accelerating the in-house developed chip is also considered by industry analysis as a necessary path to form differentiated competitiveness and impact the high-end cell phone market.
Reports from third-party research institutions including IDC showed that Vivo's cell phone sales have ranked first in China for two consecutive quarters. In this context, it is only logical that Vivo accelerates the manufacture of cores to seek further breakthroughs in products and technologies.