According to reports from the stock market, Xiaomi Corp currently owns nearly 6% of the chip designer VeriSilicon Holdings Co, when the smartphone maker is reforming its semiconductor design journey. they have been around for many years – an effort they see as a center for promoting innovation.
This investment came at a time when the Chinese government identified a chip as one of a number of factors that helped the country become autonomous under the "Made in China 2025" initiative.
In the file submitted to the China Securities Commission, VeriSilicon has revealed a fund mobilized by Xiaomi in June to become the second largest shareholder outside of the company. Xiaomi also confirmed this investment with Reuters, but neither company disclosed the value of the investment.
Currently, VeriSilicon's largest outside shareholder is the Chinese Circuit Industry Investment Fund, a national fund for the domestic semiconductor industry, commonly known as the "The Big Fund" Fund.
The chip design firm is based in Shanghai and has research and development centers in the US and home. Its main activity as a subcontractor to other chip companies, helps them complete additional components of semiconductor design.
Since launching its first smartphone nearly a decade ago, Xiaomi has grown rapidly and has become the world's fourth-largest smartphone company in the first quarter of this year. However, they have very little success in chip development.
In 2014, the company launched its own semiconductor and three years later, they introduced their first self-designed SoC processor, Surge S1. This chip is equipped on Xiaomi's Mi 5 smartphone but not widely deployed.
Launched Xiaomi's Surge S1 processor.
However, the company did not introduce any other chips later. Until last April, an internal note showed that Xiaomi will split its chip development division into a separate subsidiary, called Big Fish, focusing on manufacturing chips for Internet devices of Things.
Xiaomi is not the only Chinese company with the ambition to design chips itself. HiSilicon chip maker, a subsidiary of Huawei, has created Kirin processors for its own smartphones. These processors are considered by many experts to compete with Qualcomm's leading chips.
Not only that, last year, e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding acquired Chinese chip maker C-Sky. The company's CTO said it will introduce its first artificial intelligence chip in the first half of 2019.
The trade war with the US in recent times has become a driving force for Chinese firms to strengthen their self-development efforts. Huawei is a company that understands it better than it is currently on the US Department of Commerce's list of entities and banned from buying technology products from the US company.
Refer to Reuters