Xiaomi’s got a new CPU, named Surge. The Surge S1 chipset had been an ongoing project since Xiaomi subsidiary Pinecone’s establishment on October 16th, 2014. Surge S1 is still based on TSMC’s 28nm HPC+ process (as opposed to something more recent, such as 16nm), but one has to start somewhere. Its processor consists of eight battery-friendly Cortex-A53 cores, four of which are clocked at 2.2GHz and the other four at 1.4GHz. For graphics, there’s a Mali-T860 MP4 GPU which is good enough for the average game. Simply put, don’t expect the Surge S1 to match the performance of other high-end chips; it’s closer to the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek’s Helio P20.
While the Surge S1 only has China Mobile radio at the moment, Xiaomi should still pose as a serious threat to other chip makers in the developing markets. MediaTek in particular will be the biggest loser, should Xiaomi choose to cut out the middle man and drop MediaTek entirely for its popular Redmi devices in the future. And of course, it’s only a matter of time before Xiaomi catches up with the competition with better processes and modems.