It’s official: Xiaomi is now a chip maker. The Chinese consumer electronics company first made a name for itself in the smartphone space, and now sells everything from headphones to air purifiers. And now Xiaomi is designing the chips that will be used in some of the company’s upcoming phones, including the Xiaomi Mi 5C.
The first Xiaomi chip is called the Surge S1, and it’s a 28nm octa-core processor designed for upper mid-range devices.
The Surge S1 features:
- Four 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores
- Four 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores
- Mali-T860 quad-core graphics
But those specs only tell part of the story. There’s no shortage of similar third-party chips Xiaomi could have selected for its phones. But by designing the Surge S1 in-house, the company could focus on features it wanted to bring to its phones.
For instance, there’s a 32-bit digital signal processor (DSP) to support voice processing in phone calls and dual microphones for noise reduction. There’s a 14-bit dual image signal processor (ISP) for processing camera images with noise reduction and enhanced light sensitivity. And the Surge S1 supports Voice over LTE and chip-level security features.
According to benchmark results released by Xiaomi, the Surge S1 offers processing power that’s comparable with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 or MediaTek Helio P20 chip, which makes sense for a modern chip aimed at mid-range devices.
But this is just the first processor designed by Xiaomi subsidiary Pinecone. Rumor has it that the company has a higher-performance model with four ARM Cortex-A73 and four ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores on the way.