In February 2017, Xiaomi stunned the industry when it launched the Mi 5C as its first phone that features the company’s self-developed Pinecone Surge S1. The device was expected to get a successor in the Mi 6C last year that would be powered by a Surge S2 chipset but that didn’t happen. As early as April last year, it was reported that TSMC was manufacturing the Surge S2 for Xiaomi using the chipmaker’s 16-nanometer FinFet process.
The Mi 6X was expected to be launched at MWC 2018 with the new chipset but that didn’t happen. The S2 was even tipped to be released along with the Mi 8. That also did not materialise. However, Xiaomi’s product director Wang Teng Thomas has thrown some insight as to why the chipset is delayed. He responded to a netizen’s question if the chipset has been abandoned., hinting that it has not been abandoned but that it is still under development. He also hinted that the process is being belayed by some unexpected issues.
The Surge S2 is expected to utilise an octa-core design comprising four Cortex-A73 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores. The Cortex- A73 cores are clocked at around 2.2GHz while the Cortex-A53 will come with a clock frequency of around 1.8 GHz. The device will come with a Mali G71MP8 GPU which will support UFS2.1 and LPDDR4 memory. Unfortunately, the chipset will still not feature support for CDMA network. However, the Surge S2’s comprehensive performance evaluation seems to be the same as the Kirin 960. In contrast, the Surge S1’s performance is slightly higher than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 chipset. The S1 is an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2.2GHz and another four A53 clocked at 1.4GHz while the GPU is ARM’s Mali-T860.