Xiaomi is a brand that many of you will be familiar with by now, especially if you’re reading from China or India. As we’ve covered recently, Xiaomi is once again the top smartphone manufacturer in China, an important market to be successful in. Over the years, Xiaomi has made a name for themselves by offering up devices with decent performance and excellent hardware without the associated price tag. While their Mi line of devices, such as the Mi 4 and Mi Note Pro are their flagship devices, they rocketed to success with devices lie the RedMi and RedMi Note. By offering devices that cost very little with features that would often cost much more, Xiaomi quickly developed a solid following.
With their recent RedMi 2A launch, Xiaomi partnered with Leadcore, brings the LC1860C quad-core processor to customers. This exhibited performance that was similar, but not quite on par with, the Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 410. The reason Xiaomi chose such a chip however, was because it was much cheaper for Xiaomi to produce a phone with. Now, there are rumors that Xiaomi is working on their own ARM processor for upcoming devices, and that we could see these as early as 2016. According to the latest reports, Xiaomi have apparently secured all the licenses that they need to have another partner manufacture chips for them. With the recent hiring of Qualcomm’s President of their China business, Wang Xiang, it sure looks like Xiaomi is working on something special.
If Xiaomi were to produce processors like Huawei does for their devices, we can imagine that they’d be budget offerings, designed solely to keep the price of devices as low as possible. This would mean that the devices would be powered by stock ARM reference designs, rather than any special sauce like Qualcomm’s chips. At the high-end, we can expect Xiaomi to continue shipping devices with MediaTek and Qualcomm processors to make sure they are meeting the high standards their customers have now come to expect. Whether or not next year is the year we see yet another Chinese manufacturer going it alone in the semiconductor world remains to be seen, but it should be interesting nonetheless.