Xiaomi has officially opened a new research and development hub in Tampere, Finland.
The hub will focus on camera-related technology, specifically algorithms, machine learning, signal processing, and image and video processing, and is Xiaomi’s largest camera-dedicated team outside of China.
The team, which consists of 20 people so far, is headed by Xiaomi Finland R&D senior director Jarno Nikkanen. “We are a compact team of around 20 people now,” he told VentureBeat, “but we are quickly scaling up by building up this team, especially talents specialized in camera algorithm.”
This new hub will focus its attention on the software side of the camera equation, which has recently led to some big strides in smartphone camera technology.
The location of the hub in Tampere gives Xiaomi access to a talent pool with a rich history in smartphone tech. Tampere University’s technology campus is in the area, as is mobile tech pioneer Nokia’s.
“The setup of this R&D team in Finnish city Tampere is a milestone in our global expansion journey,” added Xiaomi senior VP Wang Xiang. “In this journey, not only do we consolidate ourselves in operations and business, but also work with local talents to further improve our products with highly innovative technologies.”
Though Nokia wasn’t specifically mentioned by Xiaomi with regards to their new hub, the two companies signed a patent and equipment deal two years ago, so there may be reason to speculate as to whether their newfound proximity could lead to more future collaboration between the two.
Xiaomi isn’t the only Chinese smartphone company to set up a camera hub in the area either. Three years ago competitor Huawei set up a similar facility in Tampere also focused on camera tech.