Xiaomi “Pinecone” chipset project may be wedge against Qualcomm’s licensing rage
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi will introduce a phone with a house-built SoC codenamed “Pinecone” within the next month, sources say to The Wall Street Journal. It is not certain that the phone will be the Mi 6.
The OEM, which has relied mostly on Qualcomm chipsets for its mobile phones, would be the nation’s second to Huawei for sourcing its processing chips from within their respective companies. Xiaomi funded a newly-formed company called Beijing Pinecone Electronics which acquired mobile processor property from Leadcore, a subsidiary of the government-backed Datang Telecom. Both entities are said to be in collaboration with this project.
This development comes in the wake of concerns over the inventory of high-end Qualcomm chipsets available to to manufacturers other than Samsung — that chaebol is producing the Snapdragon 835 and is said to be hogging stock for its Galaxy S8 that is reportedly to be launched in April.
Xiaomi has a licensing agreement with Qualcomm to use its cellular technologies, but it could decide to opt out of future contracts with its own processor and modem R&D. The FTC and Apple have opened litigation against the chipmaker for anticompetitive practices.