The new Mi Mix Fold will run an imaging chip called the Surge C1, that’s Xiaomi’s first in-house image signal processor.

In the past two days, we have seen so many new Xiaomi products that some of them were just ignored. In the second round of the spring conference, today, Xiaomi announced its second chip, called the Surge C1.

At the Xiaomi Mega launch event today, the company unveiled a new Liquid lens technology on its first foldable, the Mi MIX FOLD.

Currently, it is very important for smartphone makers to master the core technology – chips. In this sense, though the Surge C1 doesn’t make Xiaomi independent, it deserves more serious attitude. Moreover, we should mention that it is Xiaomi’s first professional imaging chip.

In 2017, Xiaomi released the first Surge chip, the Surge S1. It was used in a couple of Xiaomi smartphones. But it had no follow-ups. So many even forgot about Xiaomi’s efforts in this field.

Talking about the evolution, the company said that this chip is a result of an investment of about RMB 140 million.

Surge C1 Provides Enhanced Imaging

Unlike the Surge S1, the Surge C1 is an ISP chip. Thus, it is an independent smartphone imaging chip. It uses self-developed ISP + self-developed algorithms to help smartphones perform more sophisticated and advanced 3A processing.

This 3A refers to AF focusing, AWB white balance and AE automatic exposure. The Surge C1 with dual filters can achieve parallel processing of high and low frequency signals. As a result, the signal processing efficiency is increased by 100%. Overall, the 3A performance is greatly improved.

Generally talking, the newly announced Surge C1 ISP chip brings improvements in three areas:

  • Better auto focus (AF) – greatly improving the ability to focus on dark light, small objects and flat areas;
  • More accurate white balance (AWB) – complex mixed ambient light is also completely controlled;
  • More accurate automatic exposure (AE) strategy.

Here, the Auto Focus is for faster focusing of subjects and circumventing the focussing issues on darker scenarios especially when the object in focus is smaller. Next, the Accurate White Balance is useful for correcting the white balance in a frame when you have complex lighting around you.

The first smartphone sporting this chip is the Xiaomi MIX Fold. So as such a giant carries it inside, there is every reason to think we will see more smartphones from various categories to use it.

Finally, the Automatic Exposure is for hitting the correct exposure levels and improving the dynamic range in the process.

Anyway, as mentioned above, the Surge C1 chip will be first deployed on the company’s first foldable phone, Mi MiX FOLD for aiding the lenses to improve the overall image quality.

We can also expect this chip to trickle down to other Xiaomi devices in the future but we will have to wait for the official word.

‘We want to climb the high peak of innovative technologies … and we will not stop our exploration (of chips),’ Lei Jun said.