Xiaomi is apparently prepping up to join the major chipset manufacturers this year. According to the latest report from Wall Street Journal, the Chinese company is developing a custom-made microprocessor for an upcoming smartphone. Xiaomi is reportedly going to launch the chip with codename ‘Pinecone’ within the next month.
The report assumes that Xiaomi’s intention to enter the chipset market is a part of its aspiration to join the top tier of smartphone manufacturers globally. The company’s new Pinecone processor will be built by Beijing Pinecone Electronics, a company tied to the Chinese smartphone manufacturer. Xiaomi is said to have paid around $15 million to buy mobile processor technologies from Datang subsidiary Leadcore Technology Ltd.
Recent leak reports suggest that Xiaomi could initially launch two variants of the new processor- Pinecone 1 and Pinecone 2. The first processor, Pinecone 1, is expected to carry an octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU, meanwhile Pinecone 2 could come with four A73 cores and four A53 cores. The processors are claimed to be fabricated with a 10nm process technology. Leaks also hint that the new processor might make its debut with the anticipated Xiaomi Mi 5C smartphone.
It’s not new for a manufacturer to build its own processors – a handful of them have been doing them for a while now. Samsung has its own Exynos chipset that we find in many of its smartphones. Huawei too uses its custom-made HiSilicon Kirin processors which appear on the Huawei P9, Mate 9, Honor 8 and Honor 6X phones. Even Apple uses its own chips, such as the A10 Fusion chip on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. If reports are to be believed, then this development could be a cost-cutting measure that will enable the Chinese smartphone manufacturer to bring new smartphones at more competitive prices.