New MediaTek SoC Could Inflame the Smartphone War

MediaTek’s new quad-core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip, the world’s first, could be a game-changer in the smartphone market. And the reason’s pretty simple: It’s cheap to make at a time when demand for powerful SoC’s is increasing dramatically. More power for less cost gives device manufacturers an advantage, and right now they need all the help

Mediatek Quad Core SoCLet’s Talk About Specs

The SoC, officially called MT6589, integrates ARM quad-core Cortex A7 CPU, which uses 28nm architecture and is among some of the fastest, yet power efficient, processors out there. Imagination Technologies delivers the graphics, a PowerVR Series5XT GPU, also built using the 28nm process.

Another nifty detail is the HSPA+ smartphone platform’s support of a dual SIM. Users can take advantage of two SIM cards at once while staying connected through HSPA+ on both of them. It’s the world’s first SoC to do this. There’s only one minor snafu: The SoC only supports HSPA+ connectivity, which means you’ll only connect at speeds up to 42 Mbps. The upside is that MediaTek will manufacture 4G long-term evolution (LTE) chipsets by the end of next year.

It’s also worth noting the MT6589’s support of 1080p 30fps/30fps low-power video playback and recording, 13MP Camera with Integrated ISP, up to Full High Definition LCD displays and enhanced picture processing for DTV-grade image quality. It’s also capable of 2D-to-3D conversion. Since it’s such a small device, it’s possible that MediaTek is readying the SoC for TVs and other larger products.

This could become one of the most used SoCs of 2013. But it will face stiff competition from Qualcomm’s S4 Pro, which is available now, as well as Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC, which is set to launch at CES 2013.

Image: MediaTek