Xiaomi may be making its own mobile SoC, codenamed "Pinecone"
“Powered by Pinecone.” That’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Xiaomi is working on its own line of smartphone processors. The Chinese manufacturer has dubbed the chips “Pinecone.” This would make Xiaomi the second Chinese smartphone company to make its own systems-on-a-chip, or SoCs. Huawei has been making Kirin SoCs since 2012 under their subordinate brand, HiSilicon.
The Pinecone chips are expected to come in two flavors. The higher-powered SoC will sport four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, while the cheaper version will have eight of the lower-powered A53 cores. This architecture would put them in line with the Kirin 960 and Kirin 930/935, although clock speeds may differ. The Kirin 960 is no slouch and can trade blows with Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 821, and it would be exciting to see similar performance out of the high-end Pinecone chips from Xiaomi.
Xiaomi’s phones equipped with Pinecone will also benefit from tighter hardware and software integration. By controlling the manufacturing process of a smartphone’s SoC (which typically includes the processor, graphics core, and wireless connection modules), Xiaomi can fine tune their phones similar to juggernauts like Samsung and Apple. Keep in mind that Apple’s A10 chip found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is currently the fastest mobile processor in the market; that’s mainly due to the iPhone’s impeccable coordination between the hardware and software.
There’s no word on pricing or availability yet. Xiaomi also hasn’t announced whether Pinecone will be exclusive to Xiaomi devices or if it will power competing devices.
Wall Street Journal (Paywall)