Some upcoming Nokia phones to be powered by Xiaomi's Surge S1 chipset


Earlier this year, Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi announced a chipset it made on its own, the Surge S1. It houses an octa-core processor, made up of four 2.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores for heavier calculations and four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 cores for lighter tasks. It's paired with the Mali-T680 MP4 graphics unit. All in all, a good solution for upper mid-range smartphones, such as the Xiaomi Mi 5c, which is powered by the Surge S1.

It looks like the Chinese brand has won over a customer for its chip, and it happens to be Nokia. That is, HMD Global, which is the Finnish company that owns and maintains the brand. Rumors from the East claim that the companies signed a deal to bring the Surge S1 to future Nokia phones – not flagship models, but not entry-level handsets, either.

It isn't clear whether these models will be China-only handsets, or globally sold ones. We don't really know how the Surge S1 handles worldwide LTE networks, and it most certainly won't work with US carriers due to the many specifics involved in adapting a smartphone for the North American market.

But still, that's quite the breakthrough for Xiaomi, and it could motivate the Chinese brand to build increasingly better and faster chipsets. The industry could certainly do with more alternatives to Qualcomm and MediaTek processors.

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19 Comments

1. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Good thing. This will bring more competition in the chipset market and bring better chips. Waiting for the Nokia 9.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7454; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The SD 630 is better than this one. Especially when is using 14 nm manufacturing, with all of it's cores clocked at a maximum of 2.2 GHZ, and it has support for 1333mhz DDR4 ram, instead the Surge S1 is using 933mhz DDR3 ram. Plus the 630 supports Bluetooth 5, and cat 12 LTE, whereas the surge s1 does not support those items.

7. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

He said nothing about the S1 being better than any other chip. All he said is that manufacturers choosing chips outside of the normal Snapdragon or Exynos brings competition, which in turn will bring better chips in the future. Your assessment of the SD630 over the S1 was unneeded.

11. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

i think he indirectly saying it's not a good thing. and nokia should put a better chip instead of this or something..?

19. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

For the phone itself, of course a better chip could be used. But talking about the market as a whole, more chips means more competition. More competition will give us better chips. That's the point juandante was making. He wasn't talking about JUST the Nokia, he was talking about the entire mobile phone market getting better.

2. NoAllegiance unregistered

Good news for Xiaomi. Now they just need a contender against snapdragon 835/6.

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

This competes with the 430 They need contenders for the 630 and 660 too

4. Papa_Ji

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

It's competes with 625 not 430... that Only problem is, it's made on 28nm vs 14nm for SD 625

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7454; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The SD 625 is better because all of it's core are clocked at the higher clock speeds. Whereas as this Surge S1 has 4 cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and 4 clocked at 1.4 GHz.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Sorry I meant 450 430: -8x A53s 1.4 GHz -worse GPU than the S1 -28nm -modem: 150 Mbps down and 75 Mbps up -Dual ISP: 21MP (12-bit?) 450: -8x A53s 1.8 GHz -worse GPU than the S1 -14nm -modem: 150 Mbps down and 75 Mbps up -Dual ISP: 21MP (12-bit?) Surge S1: -4x A53s 1.4 GHz and 4x A53s 2.2 GHz -similar GPU to the 630 -28nm -modem: 150 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up -Dual ISP: 36MP (14-bit) 630: -4x A53s 1.8 GHz and 4x A53s 2.2 GHz -similar GPU performance -14nm -modem: 600 Mbps down and 150 Mbps up -Dual ISP: 24MP (14-bit) Personally, I'd take the 450's efficiency over the S1's better GPU and ISP And then when comparing 630, it has better efficiency and modem, the S1 only has a better ISP

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7454; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I don't know where you got your information from, but the SD 630 has 8 cores that all work at the same clock rate, up to 2.2 GHz. The 630 also uses dual channel LPDDR4 1333 MHz ram, whereas the Surge S1 uses a single channel LPDDR3 933 MHz ram. The GPU is also faster on the SD 630. Vincelongman if you think ram speed makes no difference, then you have got a lot to learn. The SD 630 will smoke this Surge S1 SoC. That includes the GPU on the SD 630. It will leave the Surge behind in the dust.

17. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

The 630's cores don't all work at 2.2GHz, one half only works at 1.8GHz as he stated. Also, the RAM is 1333MHz dual channel 16-bit LPDDR4 whereas the S1 has 933MHz single channel 32-bit LPDDR3. The ISP on the S1 may look better, but I doubt it'll outperform the 630's in real life. Also, the 630 is designed to support UFS ROM, so fluidity and power draw should be noticeably better. In the end, I like the 630 far better, and realistically it'll perform more smoothly as the better memory combined with more modern features (including a better cellular modem) make it a well balanced winner.

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

You're mixing the 630 up with the 626 626: 8x A53s 2.2 GHz 630: 4x A53s 1.8 GHz and 4x A53s 2.2 GHzhttp://www.anandtech.com/show/11338/qualcomm-announces-snapdragon-660-630-mobile-platforms The S1 is dual channel 32-bit LPDDR3 @ 933MHzhttp://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-surge-s1-vs-comp-753610/ The 630 is dual channel 16-bit LPDDR4 @ 1333MHz (see first link) Notice 32-bit vs 16-bit, that's a huge factor in memory bandwidth Memory bandwidth: 660: 29.856 GB/s S1 and 650-653: 14.928 GB/s 630: 10.664 GB/s 626: 7.464 GB/s The S1 actually has MORE memory bandwidth than the 630 Its on par with the 650-653, less than the 660 Personally I include memory bandwidth when I talk about GPU performance (along with compute, geometry performance, ...) Memory bandwidth can make a huge difference, especially for rendering higher resolutions and high end GPUs But for these low/mid range SoCs its not as important as the GPUs aren't powerful enough for memory bandwidth to become a bottleneck Benchmarks S1 vs 630https://gfxbench.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&did1=46508833&os1=Android&api1=gl&hwtype1=GPU&hwname1=ARM+Mali-T860&D2=Sharp+FS8010 They are very competitive 630 wins in Car Chase. S1 wins in Manhattan 3.1, 3.0 and T-Rex I'd say the 630's GPU is more future proof, given the win in the newer Car Chase benchmark But can't really ignore that the S1's higher memory bandwidth, and wins in the older benchmarks Hence I said their similar in GPU performance

8. Leon898

Posts: 9; Member since: May 08, 2016

with A53, it is nowhere near SD835...

10. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

You must be joking right? It's not meant to compare with 835. Its a mid tier chip.

13. NoAllegiance unregistered

Hence, I say, they now need to make a chipset that can challenge the 835 or the Kirin 960.

14. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Yes, Xiaomi will make a chipset that can challenge the Snapdragon 835 when there will be demand for it. But for now, the Surge S1 is a good step in the chipset business.

9. avishekmukherjee

Posts: 362; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Great news

12. johnh3

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I think this might put some pressure to MediaTek who got bad support of many of their chipset who still are on android 6.0 etc..So this is good news.

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