Xiaomi has reportedly placed large orders for a custom 16nm octa-core chipset at TSMC, indicating a second custom chipset might be in them making.
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Xiaomi has been dabbling with making its own silicon for some time now. The company officially released its custom Surge S1 chipset last year which put Xiaomi in the same category as giants like Samsung, Apple and Huawei. While the ambition was big, the scale of operations weren’t. But that might be about to change. According to Gsmarena, the Chinese OEM has placed big orders at multiple big players in the Taiwanese supply chain including Foxconn Electronics and TSMC.
The report states that an alleged secret contract with TSMC details the Surge S2, the successor to the first chipset. It was rumoured around MWC this year, but nothing was officially announced.
Xiaomi has reportedly contracted TSMC to make chipsets based on 16nm process with an octa-core design with four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz suggesting a big.LITTLE architecture. The CPU will coupled with a Mali G71MP8 GPU that powers phones like the Honor 8 Pro and last year’s Huawei P10. The chipset will be UFS 2.1 storage compatible and LPDDR4 memory.
The alleged information indicates the chipset will not be a flagship one. It will be somewhere in the leagues of the Kirin 960, that was Huawei’s mid-range chipset last year. This hints that Xiaomi might be working on a phone powered by its custom SoC to take on OnePlus and other high-end smartphone players.
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