Mobile Phones

Xiaomi is Developing Its Own Smartphone Chips With ARM

Some smartphone makers including Apple, Samsung, and Huawei produce their chipsets for smartphones and Xiaomi may be the next to join the fray. The Chinese phone maker has joined hands with chip designer ARM to produce its silicon.

This partnership has been explicitly confirmed by MediaTek’s CEO, Rick Tsai, who noted that the joint effort with Xiaomi on semiconductor innovation is underway. Although this revelation was initially highlighted in a report by Counterpoint Research, the primary source document has been elusive.

 

The revelation first emerged on Weibo, shared by the well-known informant Digital Chat Station. The report detailed that ARM had once engaged in a similar partnership with Oppo. However, this venture encountered difficulties and was ultimately discontinued.

 

ARM has previously worked with other Chinese phone makers including Oppo to produce smartphone chips. However, the partnership between Oppo and ARM did not last as it faced several challenges. Reports of this partnership date back to 2022.

Oppo was all set to use ARM’s widely used Cortex CPUs and Mali GPUs in their processors, but the phone maker had to stop designing its own chips in 2023 due to the global decline of the smartphone market.

Now that Oppo is no longer in the scene, it appears that ARM has found itself a new partner, Xiaomi.

Apple currently works with leading chipmaker Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to design its A-series and M-series chips, while Google collaborates with Samsung for its Tensor silicon used in Google Pixel phones.

Thus, Xiaomi faces the crucial decision of selecting a manufacturing ally for its venture. While ARM will lay the foundational architecture for the processors, crafting a chip from the ground up presents a unique array of challenges.

That being said, Xiaomi’s success in this venture remains to be seen.

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