Taiwan-based chip supplier MediaTek Inc on Wednesday released a new 5G chip for high-end smartphones that aims to take on much larger rival Qualcomm.
With a new chip unveiled at the Computex trade show in Taiwan, MediaTek is targeting the powerful phones currently supplied by Qualcomm. The multi-mode, 7nm 5G system-on-chip (SoC) hsa been designed to power the first wave of high-end 5G smartphones.
MediaTek’s new chip combines that modem with the latest processor core technology from Softbank Group Corp-owned Arm Holdings. The integrated 5G chipset, with the MediaTek Helio M70 5G modem built in, includes Arm’s newest Cortex-A77 CPU, Mali-G77 GPU and MediaTek’s most advanced AI processing unit (APU).
The multi-mode 5G chipset is for 5G stand alone and non-stand alone (SA/NSA) sub-6GHz networks. It supports connectivity from 2G to 4G to bridge existing network access while 5G networks roll out globally.
The MediaTek 5G chipset is integrated with its previously announced Helio M70 5G modem.
The new chipset will be ready for lead customer samples in Q3 of 2019 and be in commercial devices by Q1 of 2020.
Features and technology in the MediaTek integrated 5G SoC for sub-6GHz include:
- Helio M70 5G modem: MediaTek designed Helio M70 5G modem integrated into the SoC.
- 4.7 Gbps download speeds and 2.5 Gbps upload speeds
- Intelligent power savings and comprehensive power management
- Multi-mode support - 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G - and dynamic power sharing for the best connectivity
- New AI architecture: Sports an all new AI processing unit. Supports more advanced AI applications, including for imaging like de-blur so users get great shots even when subjects are moving fast.
- Latest CPU technology: Arm Cortex-A77 CPU.
- GPU: A new Arm Mali-G77 GPU
- 7nm FinFET: 5G SoC built on the cutting-edge 7nm production process for big energy savings in a compact package.
- Speedy throughput: A peak throughput of 4.7Gps download (sub-6GHz) and New Radio (NR) 2 Component Carrier (CC) support. Supports both non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) 5G network architectures.
- Powerful Multimedia & Imaging performance: Supports 4K video encode/decode at 60fps and super high resolution camera (80MP).
Huawei Technologies and Samsung Electronics are also developing 5G chips, supplying their own phones. Intel which had been supplying modems for Apple’s iPhone, said it would exit the 5G modem business after Apple inked a chip supply deal with Qualcomm in April.
Qualcomm’s chip also handles the two variants of 5G networks, so-called sub-6 and millimeter wave bands. That means that phones using its chip will work on any carrier’s 5G networks.
MediaTek’s chip, by contrast, currently handles only sub-6 variants of 5G networks. That helps keep its costs down, MediaTek officials said. But it also means it will not work on all 5G networks from carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc that use millimeter wave technology.