Xiaomi is long-rumored to come up with its in-house processors to bring the price of its affordable smartphones even cheaper. In 2015, the company collaborated with Leadcore to launch the Redmi 2A smartphone with LC1860 SoC. The Redmi 2A was one of the most affordable 4G LTE smartphones that time. In the last few months, the leaks revealed the Xiaomi’s in-house processor to be named PineCone when its social media accounts went live. Finally, today the company has officially announced its in-house PineCone processors by unveiling the first-gen Surge S1 SoC. Xiaomi also launched the Mi 5C smartphone, the first ever smartphone to use the PineCone processor.
Earlier to Xiaomi, only Samsung, Huawei, and Apple have their own smartphone processors. The Surge S1 SoC comes with big.LITTLE design packing eight Cortex-A53 cores where four cores are clocked at 2.2GHz and the other cores are limited to 1.4GHz. This particular processor is built on TSMC’s 28nm HPC (high performance computing) process. It also packs Mali-T860 GPU which 40% power efficient than its predecessor, Mali-T760 GPU. The 32-bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP) on the Surge S1 is said to support HD calls via VoLTE connection and dual microphone noise reduction which we see on most of the recent smartphones.
It also includes 14-bit dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) will enhance the image processor capabilities. The Surge S1 supports single frame HDR with improved dynamic range. The modem on the SoC is said to compatible with OTA upgrades.Talking about the security, the Surge S1 with the TEE architecture makes its compliance with safety regulations. Coming to the comparisons, the Xiaomi places Surge S1 on the lines of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek’s Helio P10 processors. On Geekbench benchmark test, the Surge S1 with a score of 3,399 crossed both the Snapdragon 625 and Helio P10. It came close to the newly announced Helio P20 SoC. While there is no confirmation, as of now, we think the PineCone processors to be exclusive to the Chinese market.