MediaTek announces Octa-core, 64-bit SoC to target high-end devices

mediatek ic

MediaTek announced today a new System on Chip (SoC) today with specs targeted at high-end smartphones. The MT6795 is a 64-bit, “Octa-core” chip with support for 2K displays (2560x1600).

This is MediaTek’s first device targeted at higher-end phones and tablets, capable of running at speeds up to 2.2GHz. The company’s chips have been a mainstay of middle-of-the-market and budget phones internationally. You'll find them in devices from Lenovo, Acer, and Asysm.

This move will better position MediaTek to compete with Qualcomm, which currently dominates the market in high-end SoC for phones with its Snapdragon line.

MediaTek reports the following specs for the new SoC:

  • 64-bit True Octa-core LTE SoC with clock speed up to 2.2GHz
  • MediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight cores
  • Dual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz
  • 2K on device display (2560x1600)
  • 120Hz mobile display with Response Time Enhancement Technology and MediaTek ClearMotion™
  • 480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video feature 
  • Integrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and apps
  • Support for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networks
  • Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+
  • Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC

It's note clear whether eight CPU cores is of particular benefit to you. In general, more cores is better. But in the tight power and thermal budgets of a mobile system-on-chip, there's a strong argument to be made that MediaTek would be better off with fewer, larger cores that will execute code more quickly. For example, Apple's A7 CPU was one of the fastest mobile SoCs introduced last year, fast despite having only two cores running at around 1.3 GHz. This was in part because it has a lot more cache, can issue more instructions at once, has deeper buffers...for most of what you do on a phone, these things benefit you more than a lot of cores.

Until we see benchmarks of MediaTek's new SoC, and can compare it against comparable processors (like Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 810), we don't really know if an eight-core CPU is a big benefit or just big marketing.

Having said that, there's some other nice stuff in there, like support for 120Hz displays and 480fps 1080p HD video recording. That's 16x super slow-mo, a feature that far outstrips the 2x or 4x slo-mo we see on today's smartphones.

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