Xiaomi Launches its Own In-House “Surge S1” SoC with the new Xiaomi Mi 5C

Xiaomi Launches its Own In-House “Surge S1” SoC with the new Xiaomi Mi 5C

The mobile SoC market for Android is majorly dominated by the likes of Qualcomm and MediaTek, along with participation by other makers like Samsung and Huawei. Now we can add Xiaomi to the list too, as the Chinese company has now launched its own in-house SoC called the Surge S1, and found in the new Xiaomi Mi 5C.

Surge S1

The Surge S1 is Xiaomi’s first chipset which was designed and developed in-house. The research and development that went into designing and developing a chipset was undertaken by Pinecone, a fully-owned subsidiary of Xiaomi, within 28 months.

The Pinecone Surge S1 SoC from Xiaomi utilizes an octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor setup with big.LITTLE design, fabricated on a 28nm process. The performance cluster comprises of four cores clocked at 2.2GHz, while the efficiency cluster comprises of four cores clocked at 1.4GHz. Xiaomi claims that the Surge S1 was able to outperform other SoC’s in its price range like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 in benchmarks like GeekBench.

For the GPU, the Surge S1 packs in a Mali T-860 MP4 GPU, claiming gaming performance as well as 4K video playback while using up to 40% less power than the previous generation Mali GPU. For RAM, the Surge S1 provides for dual channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, while storage support extends to eMMC 5.0. Display resolution support extends up to WQXGA (2560 x 1600). The Surge S1 also supports fast charging at 9V/2A.

The Surge S1 also features a 32-bit DSP with VoLTE and 16kHz sampling support, as well as an in-house image signal processor. This 14-bit dual ISP features a dual noise reduction algorithm that aims to reduce noise and preserve details, and supports up to 36MP camera sensors. Video capture support is extended to 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps.

The ability to create its own chipsets is the pinnacle achievement for any smartphone company. For Xiaomi, the move is an essential next step in our development. In order to deliver on our promise to make innovation available to everyone, we need to master the core technologies of our industry and tightly integrate the development of our hardware with our software, helping us to make even better smartphones that will consistently surprise the industry and delight consumers.

Lei Jun, CEO and Co-Founder of Xiaomi

The Surge S1 SoC makes its first appearance in the Xiaomi Mi 5C.

Xiaomi Mi 5C

The Xiaomi Mi 5C is the latest smartphone from Xiaomi, and forms the main host for showing off the new Surge S1 processor.

The Xiaomi Mi 5C packs in a 5.15″ JDI LCD display, boasting of a 1500:1 contrast ratio and 94.4% NTSC color gamut. On the inside, the Xiaomi Mi 5C packs in the Surge S1 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 2860 mAh battery with fast charging support up to 9V/2A. The camera setup on this device consists of a 12MP rear camera and a 8MP front camera.

The Mi 5C will have its Android 7.1 Nougat update on the MIUI Developer ROM available in March itself. It will be interesting to see how quickly Android and stable MIUI updates will roll out for this device considering that the SoC is now developed by Xiaomi itself.

The Xiaomi Mi 5C will be available in China from 3rd March 2017, for a price of CNY 1499 (~$218 / ~₹14,600). Availability outside of China is unknown at this stage.


What are your thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi 5C and the Pinecone Surge S1 SoC? Let us know in the comments below!

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