Many of the major smartphone manufacturers have developed quite a dependence on Qualcomm over the years, but a growing number are breaking away and building their own chips. The latest to follow in the footsteps of Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, is Xiaomi as today, Xiaomi announced the much-anticipated Surge S1, the first SoC (system-on-chip) it has built with Beijing Pinecone Electronics, at a press event.
The Surge S1 is a 64-bit capable, oct-core mobile processor, which comes coupled with quad-core Mali-T860 GPU. Xiaomi is also marketing the Surge S1 as a mobile processor that offers “upgradable baseband” with support for VoLTE (voice over LTE) HD calls. Other features of the Surge S1 include improved security against fraudulent base stations, as well as improved elimination of static and background noise.
At the event, Lei Jun, CEO and co-founder of Xiaomi said the company realized long ago that to achieve its “long-term objectives, it would have to combine the development of hardware and software technologies, especially at the chipset level.”
“But making your own processor helps in many other ways as well. Xiaomi could boost its profit margin if it uses its own processors in smartphones” Shobhit Srivastava, an analyst at marketing research firm Counterpoint, said. He added that processor itself costs as much as 35 percent of the BOM (billing of material). “On mid-range smartphones, it could account for as much as 50 percent of the total components cost,” he told Mashable India.
The company also launched a new variant of the Xiaomi Mi 5C, which is powered by the company’s processor. However, it is not clear if the company plans to license the processor to other smartphone vendors as well.