Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is recruiting a team to re-enter the mobile chip arena, IC Bank, a WeChat account that follows the semiconductor industry, reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Xiaomi is now in licensing talks with IP providers and has already started recruiting a team, the report said.
"Xiaomi's ultimate goal is definitely to make mobile chips, but their first chip probably won't be a phone chip, but a peripheral chip to start with," the report said.
Xiaomi has been working on mobile chips for several years, but the results have not been very fruitful.
The company announced the Surge S1 and the Mi 5C, its first phone with this chip, on Feb. 28, 2017, making Xiaomi the fourth company in the world to be able to develop and design both a chip and a phone.
The Surge S1 was equipped with an octa-core 64-bit processor with a 28nm process at 2.2GHz and a quad-core Mali T860 graphics processor.
However, four years since the Surge S1 chip was released, Xiaomi had never released a new chip. During this period, it was often rumored that Xiaomi had abandoned its own chip development.
Xiaomi founder Lei Jun said on Weibo last August that the company had not given up on the Surge chip, and that "if there are new developments, I will announce them."
"Xiaomi started making chips in 2014 and released the Surge S1 in 2017. The company has since run into huge difficulties, but the program continues, " Lei said.
On March 30, Xiaomi launched Surge C1, its first in-house developed chip for professional imaging.
The Surge C1 is an image signal processor (ISP) that uses self-developed algorithms to help the phone perform finer, more advanced 3A processing.
With dual filters, Surge C1 enables parallel processing of high and low-frequency signals, increasing signal processing efficiency by up to 100%.
Surge C1 is first equipped with the Mi MIX FOLD foldable phone, and more phones are expected to use this chip.