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MT6739 Switches Low-End GPU

October 24, 2017

Author: Linley Gwennap

While MediaTek focuses on establishing its premium Helio brand, mainstream smartphones continue to provide most of its design wins. The MT6739 is the company’s newest entry-level processor, combining a proven Cortex-A53 CPU subsystem with Imagination’s new low-end GPU. Although the modem offers the same basic data rate, the new product adds dual voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and other in-demand capabilities. It should appear in phones by the end of the year.

Compared with the MT6737, the new product offers several upgrades. Although it still uses a quad-A53 CPU cluster, it raises the CPU speed from 1.3GHz to 1.5GHz, providing a modest performance boost. The new PowerVR GE8100 GPU supports the latest APIs such as OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan. Operating at up to 570MHz, we expect it will deliver performance similar to that of the older Mali-T720 MP2 (nearly 6fps on Manhattan 3.0 Offscreen) while using less die area, helping MediaTek to manage its manufacturing cost.

Whereas the MT6737 is limited to standard 720p screens, the new chip handles extra-tall form factors at up to 1,440x720 pixels. The video engine now supports H.265 for 1080p decoding at 30fps; the MT6737 is limited to H.264. Video encoding still uses H.264 but improves from 720p at 30fps to 1080p at 30fps. The ISP can handle a single camera of 13 megapixels as well as dual-camera configurations with lower resolution.

The LTE modem supports Category 4 (150Mbps/50Mbps) but lacks carrier aggregation. Many Chinese phones have two SIMs, and the MT6739 upgrades the second line with full 4G VoLTE capability. MediaTek upgraded the firmware stack to handle LTE Broadcast (eMBMS). Using the appropriate RF front end, the modem works with the new 600MHz and 700MHz bands, including the optional high-power (HPUE) specification.

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