Xiaomi's Surge S1 SoC could find possible takers in the upper-midrange segment
HMD Global, the company that now has the license to the Nokia brand, is contemplating on using the Xiaomi's new Surge S1 SoC in its future handsets. The S1 is being positioned as a contender to the MediaTek Helio P10, P20, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoCs which form the bulk of the upper-mid tier handsets currently produced. Therefore, it is likely that future mid-range Nokias might feature this new SoC which is developed in-house by Xiaomi's subsidiary, Pinecone.
The Surge S1 is manufactured using a TSMC 28nm HPc fabrication process. It features a Cortex A53 Octa-Core SoC with four cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and four clocked at 1.4 GHz based on ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. It also features a 32-bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for audio and a Mali T860 GPU which was shown to beat its Qualcomm and MediaTek rivals by a fair margin. The processor's baseband or modem firmware can also be upgrade over-the-air to enable continuous improvements.
What is not clear however, is the likely availability of the Surge S1 powered Nokia handsets. The Xiaomi Mi 5c is the first handset featuring the new chipset but that is restricted mostly to the Chinese market. Globally availability will depend on whether Xiaomi is able to accommodate the varying LTE bands across the world.