ArticlesAnalyticsXiaomi Pinecone Surge S1 — Another participant in the mobile CPU market?

Xiaomi Pinecone Surge S1 — Another participant in the mobile CPU market?


On the last day of February 2017, Xiaomi introduced the first CPU of its own production — Pinecone Surge S1. The first rumors that Xiaomi is going to produce processors have appeared in the last year. The company took this step, most likely to rid itself of the dependence on components from such vendors as Qualcomm and MediaTek, and go after major manufacturers such as Huawei, Samsung and Apple, who have been producing their own chips for a long time, and install them in their (in the case of Samsung not only in its) devices. But will the newly-made Pinecone compete with processors from, for example, Qualcomm and Mediatek? Let’s see what is it.

Let’s get acquainted

It’s worth mentioning that the Surge S1 is not a flagship processor, and it’s unlikely that it will be installed in smartphones costing more than $220. By the way, the first smartphone with a new chip was Mi 5c, but now we are talking not about it.

Xiaomi Mi 5c

Let’s return to the processor. The Surge S1 is rather some average, which is at the level of 625 Snapdragon and Helio P20. Whether it is better or worse than analogs – time and tests will show.

Characteristics of Pinecone Surge S1

According to the characteristics it is known that this 8-core processor Cortex A53, which operates on the technology big.LITTLE and has 4 cores with a frequency of 2.2 GHz and 4 cores with a frequency of 1.4 GHz. A chip was made using a 28-nanometer process techno

Pinecone Surge S1

The processor is paired with the Mali-T860 GPU, which is 40% more efficacious and energy-efficient than previous generations. Also, the video core supports AFBC and ASTC image compression and supports Vulkan API.

Pinecone Surge S1


At the presentation, the company demonstrated the results of testing Pinecone Surge S1 and the above-mentioned competitors in various benchmarks.

In Antutu, the Surge S1 took the lead, the Helio P20 was not far behind, and Snapdragon 625 and Helio P10 are following them (it’s not clear why P10 was added when there is P20).

Pinecone Surge S1 AnTuTu benchmark

In GFXBench the situation is the same – the leader is Surge S1, and with quite a large difference from competitors.

Pinecone Surge S1 GPU benchmark

But the multi-core test in GeekBench 4 put Helio P20 in the lead, leaving behind Pinecone Surge S1 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 625.

Pinecone Surge S1 CPU benchmark

Preliminary results show that the Xiaomi Pinecone Surge S1 is able to compete with similar chips in terms of overall performance, but again, we are waiting for real tests.

Read also: Why Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is the best smart watch


It is not clear yet, whether manufacturer will refuse cooperating with Qualcomm and Mediatek in favor of its own developments, or will produce modifications of smartphones also with its CPUs. In any case, the launch of production of its own chips is a bold step, which Huawei once went on, and, as you can see, they did well. Let’s see whether Pinecone will enter the mobile processors market just like HiSilicon Kirin, or this Xiaomi initiative will be doomed to failure. It remains to wait for not a long time – in the mobile segment all events are developing very rapidly.

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Dmitry Koval
Dmitry Koval
I write detailed reviews of various gadgets, used Google Pixel smartphones and interested in mobile games.

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