ZTE wants to join a small group of handset manufacturers which make their own chips. At the moment, this group includes the very largest vendors, like Apple, Samsung and Huawei, with LG looking to join them in the near future, as well.
ZTE on its end will start with an octa-core chip, which will apparently be announced just before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on February 20th. Marked as WiseFone 7550s, it will apparently be more energy efficient than Nvidia’s Tegra 4 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800. This, however, may not be a good thing. You see, there’s a reason why these two chips require more energy – they are super-powerful, rocking four Cortex-A15 cores.
The easy solution to have an energy-friendly chip is to use slower Cortex-A7 or Cortex-A9 cores. MediaTek is doing that but its chips are not really associated with the very fastest phones out there. We’ll see whether ZTE will take that route or go for ARM’s big.LITTLE design that combines four powerful (Cortex-A15) with four energy-efficient (Cortex-A7) cores a la Samsung Exynos 5 Octa series. Stay tuned in the meantime…