Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute: Pioneering Advancements in Mobile Imaging

Introducing the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute

By Iconic MNL
5 Min Read

Global smartphone leader Xiaomi and Leica Camera AG have jointly announced the formation of the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute. This establishment marks a significant milestone for the smartphone industry, as the institute unites diverse, interconnected scientific disciplines around a core focus: optical technology.

Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute

Building on its initial groundwork, the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute is collaboratively developing a groundbreaking industry standard for mobile device optical performance, raising the bar in both technology and user experience. This initiative prioritizes philosophy, technology, and user experience equally. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra, a new mobile imaging flagship, will serve as the first testament to the institute’s practical progress, scheduled for release this month with unparalleled optical performance.

The Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute strives to continuously promote groundbreaking innovation in mobile imaging optical technology, aiming to create the most advanced mobile imaging optical system for the era of ubiquitous mobile photography. By leveraging the combined strengths of both Leica and Xiaomi, the institute concentrates on four key technical areas: designing ultra-precise optical lenses within a compact form factor, achieving optimal performance in computational photography, upholding the highest optical standards for lenses, and conducting research and application of cutting-edge optoelectronic technology.

To achieve this ambitious goal, Xiaomi and Leica have invested significantly, assembling a joint team of over 200 experts. The legendary optical designer Peter Karbe, known for his contributions to fourth-generation Leica lenses such as the Noctilux and APO series, will serve as the institute’s Optical Expert. Zeng Xuezong, Senior Vice President of Xiaomi Group and President of the Xiaomi Mobile Phone Department will take on the role of Director. Additionally, Yi Yan, Head of Xiaomi Group’s Software Technical Team, and Wang Xuanran, General Manager of Xiaomi Camera Department, will serve as Deputy Directors.

Xiaomi further reinforces the institute’s capabilities by providing robust R&D resources. Three major laboratories are planned for Beijing, focusing on Camera Hardware, Imaging, and Objective and Subjective Image Quality Evaluation. Encompassing a total area of 2644 square meters, these laboratories will be among the best, largest, and most automated camera laboratories in the world.

Xiaomi Group Partner and President William Lu commented, “For over a hundred years, Leica has been committed to creating world-class optical lenses, representing the epitome of intricate optical engineering design and exquisite manufacturing craftsmanship. Xiaomi believes that ‘light is the foundation of imagery’ and is the kernel and cornerstone of ‘giving reality a sense of depth.’ Through the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute, we will further leverage the respective strengths of both parties, continuously extend the boundaries of mobile imaging optical capabilities, and consistently lead the way in the mobile imaging era.”

Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG, stated, “Our partnership with Xiaomi over the past two years has been truly remarkable. Together, we have successfully integrated the iconic Leica photography experience into the world of mobile imaging, exemplified by our co-engineered Leica Summilux optical lenses. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s optical system represents our latest collaborative achievement, destined to lead the next generation of mobile optical imaging as the most advanced Summilux lenses in mobile phones to date. With a legacy spanning over a century, optics embody the technical foundation of Leica.

Through the establishment of the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute, we are poised to unite top-tier teams from both sides within the field of optics. Together, we are dedicated to pioneering a new era in mobile imaging optics, pushing the boundaries of mobile imaging, and forging a cutting-edge mobile imaging optical system tailored to the contemporary era.”

About Author

Share This Article