Chipset maker UNISOC is working with a number of leading mobile brands in India, including Motorola, Micromax, Reliance Jio, and Realme. Making strategic R&D-focused investments to strengthen its product offerings and drive the upcoming wave of digitisation, UNISOC is serious about 5G roll out in India, besides maintaining its strong position in 3G and 4G networks. The company is also cautious about the ongoing global chipset shortage that is impacting various industries, including telecom and electronics. Eric Zhou, Executive Vice President at UNISOC, speaks to Ramesh Kumar Raja to discuss the company’s ongoing endeavours to be a significant player in the fabless semiconductor market. Excerpts:
UNISOC seems to be back in action in India, if we look at your recent partnership with Motorola, Micromax and Realme smartphone brands. Can you please tell us about these recent developments?
At UNISOC, we believe, only futuristic technology can bring radical changes in the communication industry. We have been working successfully globally and currently have a special interest in expanding further in India. We are making strategic R&D-focused investments to strengthen our product offerings and drive the upcoming wave of digitisation. We are working closely with mobile manufacturers like Motorola, Micromax, Reliance Jio, and Realme. Since India has one of the largest smartphone users globally, at UNISOC, we trust that it is the right time to invest in futuristic technologies such as 5G, AI, and IoT and advance them further.
Is your association with JioPhone still on? What’s your plan ahead with the JioPhone?
Yes, UNISOC is closely associated with Reliance Jio. We have partnered with the Indian telecom giant to introduce 5G technology and advance the IoT to launch more smart devices to power intelligent, interconnected cities in India.
Are you in talks with other handset players too? If yes, what’s the development?
At UNISOC, we are expanding our product portfolio in 5G, IoT, and AI. We have several exciting projects in the pipeline for 2022. We have partnered with many leading brands in India, including Motorola, Micromax, Realme. Our core business includes four significant areas, i.e. Consumer Electronics, Industrial Electronics, Smart Power Electronics, and Ecological Products. We are closely working with our partners to roll out many high-end devices at an affordable price to transform India into a smart nation. Realme and Micromax have launched their phones in India with our latest innovation – T610, a 4G chipset. We are proud to announce that Realme C21Y with UNISOC T610 sold more than 10 million units in 3 months in Southeast Asia. We have already collaborated with more mobile phone brands that will launch their phones with the T610 chip in the coming months. The names of these Indian mobile manufacturers will be shared soon.
|“We have several exciting projects in the pipeline for 2022. We have partnered with many leading brands in India, including Motorola, Micromax, Realme. Our core business includes four significant areas, i.e. Consumer Electronics, Industrial Electronics, Smart Power Electronics, and Ecological Products”|
What is the market share you currently hold in India? How is the Indian market different from other countries where you operate?
The mobile network infrastructure in India is still in a developing phase. Some areas of the nation are still surviving on 3G, 4G, and even 2G. Though the mobile market in India has reached notable milestones over the last decade, the overall tech health of the sector is still further improving. However, the great news is that the nation has always been open to technological development, improving information flows, and raising the bar of technical innovation. We are constantly trying to address these issues and bring a digital revolution by maximising mobile usage with a strong 5G network.
What is your target for growth in India and where do you think this will come from?
When it comes to technological advancements, the Indian mobile market is still in its early stages. The reason for this is that only a small percentage of the population can afford high-end phones. As a result, the lack of progress is due to a demand shortage caused by low affordability. We want to promote 4G in rural and remote areas of India first, and then expand it to all 5G networks.
How prepared is UNISOC to cash in on the upcoming 5G technology in India?
We are working intensively to introduce 5G in India. Our UNISOC 5G chips are aimed at the further advancement of the new 5G infrastructure. Our mission is to empower Logistics, Electricity, Mining, Transportation, and Manufacturing sectors with 5G technology. At UNISOC, we already have competitive 5G products that are mature and mass-produced worldwide. Besides, we have recently launched the Tanggula 5G product series family, which has four series –Tanggula 6, Tanggula 7, Tanggula 8 and Tanggula 9. Furthermore, our 5G smartphone solution, T770, is the world’s first 6nm EUV 5G chip compatible with both SA and NSA modes with a computing power of 4.8 TOPS. It provides a full-pipeline 4K HDR+ display engine with a high level of financial security.
|“Our 5G smartphone solution, T770, is the world’s first 6nm EUV 5G chip compatible with both SA and NSA modes with a computing power of 4.8 TOPS. It provides a full-pipeline 4K HDR+ display engine with a high level of financial security”|
The global chip shortage is taking a toll on the handset industry too. When will the crisis end?
Today, chipsets are the driving force of any innovation. They power everything – from smartphones to smart homes. At UNISOC, we recognise that the ongoing global shortage of chipsets is a significant challenge affecting product innovation. Therefore, we only launch a project if and when we are confident that we’ll be able to meet the production demand and achieve business goals. Also, different chipset fabrication models have different levels of shortages. So, we try to offer our partners substitute chipsets to meet the demands only during dire need.
Can you please tell us about your immediate plans for the India market? What are the challenges ahead for UNISOC?
The Indian mobile market is still in its developing phase when it comes to technological advancements. It is primarily because only a small portion of the population can afford high-end phones. Therefore, the lack of advancement stems from a shortage in demand caused by low affordability. We first want to promote 4G even in India’s rural and remote parts and then accelerate it into all 5G networks. And, at UNISOC, we believe our T610 chipset offers users a premium 4G smartphone experience. It has 12nm process that features two 1.8 GHz Arm Cortex-A75 CPUs and six 1.8 GHz Arm Cortex-A55 CPUs while the GPU uses the 614.4MHz Mali G52. T610 boosts single-core performance by 45% compared to other competing products and multi-core performance by over 25%. We truly believe that we can lead the digital revolution in India with T610 and the upcoming T770, which is the world’s first 6nm EUV 5G chip.