Xiaomi has reportedly given up on its Surge chipset project. The insider who broke the news claims that the company will focus on RF chips like Bluetooth and other peripheral components instead of smartphone chips.
It seems like the company isn’t ready to commit full time to the development of a mobile silicon, which is a complicated and cost-intensive venture.
Avoiding the research and development costs will help the manufacturer stay afloat financially.
The company had previously released the Surge S1 chipset
Back in 2017, the company’s subsidiary Pinecone made a mobile chip called Surge S1. It was a 28nm chip that powered the Xiaomi MI 5c.
Needless to say, the mid-ranger didn’t really create waves. Surge S1 was expected to be followed by the Surge S2 but that just did not happen. It was apparently going to be a higher-end chip, made using a more efficient manufacturing process. According to some reports, Xiaomi was to work with TSMC on the 16nm Surge S2.
However, if the latest report is to go by, the Surge S2 will never see the light of the day. In many ways, we saw the news coming.
Last year, Xiaomi reorganized its chipset division to focus more on AI-focused chips for IoT applications. Xiaomi has always been keen on developing AI-enhanced hardware to keep pace with rivals.
The development of Surge S2 was presumably mired by issues that the Chinese company was never able to fix. And thus, it seems like the tech giant will continue using Qualcomm’s and MediaTek’s chips for its smartphones for now.
That said, the company might introduce another silicon down the road. It’s clearly interested in going down that path, it has just stumbled into some roadblocks.
Xiaomi has bought a 6% stake in the semiconductor company VeriSilicon Holdings. This investment makes Xiaomi the Shanghai-based manufacturer’s second-largest stakeholder. This can allow it to have a say in development efforts.
Other mobile vendors are trying to reduce dependence on chipmakers
After all, a lot of Xiaomi’s rivals are also trying to strengthen their in-house chip efforts. Apple has always made its own SoCs, allowing it to tightly integrate the hardware and software. This doesn’t just allow for improved performance, but also better battery life. The Cupertino giant is even reportedly working on its own modem.
Huawei also makes Kirin chipsets for its smartphones for a more tailor-made experience. Similarly, Samsung uses the proprietary Exynos silicon for some of its phones. However, some recent reports suggest that the company perhaps doesn’t think its chips are at par with those made by Qualcomm.
According to some recent reports, even Oppo is thinking about making its own chipsets in the future. The company will apparently have its sister companies on board to make its SoC.
Making their own chipsets will allow companies to have greater control of their devices and provide a more seamless experience. Moreover, it will also mobile vendors to reduce their dependence on Qualcomm and MediaTek.
Thus, while Xiaomi might have paused work on its mobile chips for now, we don’t think it has abandoned the in-house chip efforts completely.