Xiaomi & Leica Join Forces: New Institute Paves the Way for Cutting-Edge Mobile Photography

In a groundbreaking move, global smartphone leader Xiaomi and legendary camera maker Leica Camera AG have joined forces to establish the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute. Marking a significant milestone for the smartphone industry, this institute signifies a deep dive into integrated interdisciplinary sciences, placing optical technology at its core.

Collaborative Innovation for Unparalleled Performance

Building on their initial groundwork, the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute embarks on a collaborative mission: developing a groundbreaking industry standard for mobile device optical performance. The emphasis lies not just on technological advancements but also on an exceptional user experience.


The Xiaomi 14 Ultra, a flagship mobile imaging device scheduled for release this month, stands as the first testament to this collaboration. It promises unparalleled optical performance, setting a new bar for the industry.

Driving Deep Innovation in Mobile Imaging Optics

The Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute focuses on continuous innovation in mobile imaging optics. Leveraging the strengths of both companies, the institute targets four key areas:

  • Designing ultra-precision optical lenses in a compact form factor for mobile devices
  • Achieving ideal performance in computational photography
  • Upholding the strictest optical standards for lenses
  • Conducting research and application of cutting-edge optoelectronic technology

Experts Unite: A Joint Team for Unmatched Expertise

Xiaomi and Leica have invested heavily, assembling a powerful team of over 200 experts for the institute. The team boasts renowned figures like:

  • Peter Karbe: Optical Expert, legendary designer behind iconic Leica lenses like Noctilux and APO series.
  • Zeng Xuezong: Director, Senior Vice President of Xiaomi Group and President of Xiaomi Mobile Phone Department.
  • Yi Yan: Deputy Director, Head of Xiaomi Group’s Software Technical Team.
  • Wang Xuanran: Deputy Director, General Manager of Xiaomi Camera Department.

World-Class Resources for Cutting-Edge Research

Xiaomi provides robust R&D support for the institute. Three major laboratories are planned in Beijing, focusing on Camera Hardware, Imaging, and Objective and Subjective Image Quality Evaluation. These state-of-the-art facilities will be among the largest and most automated camera laboratories globally.

Quotes from Leadership

William Lu, Partner and President of Xiaomi Group: “For over a century, Leica has been a pioneer in creating world-class optical lenses. Together, through the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute, we will push the boundaries of mobile imaging and lead the way in this exciting era.”

Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG: “Our partnership with Xiaomi has been remarkable. We’ve successfully integrated the Leica experience into mobile imaging. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is our latest collaboration, destined to be a leader in mobile optical imaging. The institute allows us to combine Leica’s legacy with Xiaomi’s expertise, ushering in a new era of mobile imaging.”

The establishment of the Xiaomi x Leica Optical Institute signifies a commitment to revolutionize mobile photography. This collaboration promises to bring together cutting-edge optics, innovative computational approaches, and a user-centric focus, setting a new standard for capturing and experiencing the world through your smartphone.