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MediaTek Rolls an Eight

December 3, 2013

Author: Mike Demler

MediaTek announced the details of its octal-core MT6592, which recently entered production in a 28nm HPM process. The processor integrates eight ARM Cortex-A7 CPUs running at up to 2.0GHz, the fastest speed yet announced for that core. The company also rolled out pin-compatible quad-core versions called the MT6588 and MT6582.

The octal-core processor will hold a special appeal for Chinese consumers, who believe the number eight is a sign of prosperity and good fortune. It has drawn the interest of Chinese handset manufacturers, including Coolpad, Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi, which have announced smartphones that will employ the MT6592.

The ability to concurrently run eight identical cores in a smartphone processor has less real benefit than other recent MediaTek firsts, since few Android applications generate enough threads to keep even four cores active. The octal multiprocessing architecture will earn benchmark scores that beat the highest-performance Cortex-A15 devices on the market, but users will not experience that performance in actual use.

Nevertheless, the MT6592 packs other differentiating features that will enable the company to push further into the midrange smartphone market. The device upgrades the GPU and multimedia subsystem from MediaTek’s low-cost processors, and it adds DTV video-processing capabilities derived from technology the company developed for home-entertainment products.

The MT6592 also integrates the Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi basebands, plus FM radio functions. MediaTek is building on its strategy of minimizing BOM costs for OEMs, but this integration is also taking sockets away from providers of standalone Bluetooth+Wi-Fi combo chips, such as Broadcom, which holds the largest share of the smartphone connectivity market.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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