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Xiaomi to manufacture own mobile processor – report

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2.

Chinese mobile powerhouse Xiaomi has rocketed up the sales charts in recent years, creating capable phones at affordable prices. So like several popular manufacturers, it’s apparently decided to get into the chipset game.

The Chinese firm plans to introduce its first in-house chip next month, based on traditional ARM-licensed technology, The Korea Times reported.

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“Xiaomi plans to release its in-house Rifle-dubbed mobile APUs [application processor unit – ed] at a company event, which has been set to take place (in) May,” a component partner told the publication.

The news would make Xiaomi the latest mobile firm to design its own processors, joining Samsung, Huawei and Apple. This is aside from established processor giants MediaTek and Qualcomm, who hold massive marketshare between the two of them.

Don’t hold your breath for the processor to go inside a high-end phone though, because this chip is set to power budget-minded devices, the publication added.

Where would Xiaomi go with this?

A drive by Xiaomi to make its own chips could reduce manufacturing costs and make its devices even cheaper. And we’ve also seen Samsung and Apple eke out plenty of performance by crafting its own processors.

Of course, Xiaomi might have an uphill battle on its hands if it intended to create a similar high-end chip to replace Qualcomm’s processors. After all, even the industry veteran isn’t immune to manufacturing woes — just look at the Snapdragon 810.

Would Xiaomi sell the in-house chip/chips to other manufacturers though?

Qualcomm and MediaTek would undoubtedly take notice, as Asian manufacturers are their bread and butter. In fact, half of Qualcomm’s revenue comes from China, the Financial Times reported.

One also has to question whether Xiaomi could undercut rivals (most notably China’s own MediaTek) if it decided to sell these chips — a move which could potentially lead to many budget manufacturers jumping on the new bandwagon instead. If successful with its budget chip, a move to the premium segment (i.e. Qualcomm’s domain) would almost certainly be on the cards in the longer term.

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