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Helio P65 Upgrades Midrange Phones

July 30, 2019

Author: Bob Wheeler

The new Helio P65 could be MediaTek’s last midrange application processor without AI acceleration. Rather than integrate a deep-learning accelerator (DLA), the company lets the GPU do the work. On the other hand, the P65 follows the recent trend of including two powerful cores and six little cores. In this case, the 2+6 configuration uses Arm’s Cortex-A75 and Cortex-A55, matching the big-brother Helio P90. By sticking with 12nm technology, MediaTek can price the P65 for midrange smartphones.

Gaming performance begins with fast CPUs, and the P65 is no slouch. With its big cores operating at up to 2.0GHz and little cores at 1.7GHz, we estimate the new chip delivers 92% of the P90’s single-thread performance and 89% of its multithread performance. Like the P90, the P65 includes a shared L3 cache of undisclosed size. For the GPU, MediaTek picked Arm’s Mali-G52 after using Imagination’s PowerVR GM9446 in the P90 and the Mali-G72 in the P60 before that. The chip can drive 2,520x1,080 displays and perform 2K-video encoding at 30fps.

MediaTek created confusion with the Helio P65 name. Calling it the P45 would’ve clarified the new chip’s position as an upgrade to the P35, and it would’ve better explained omission of a DLA to reduce cost. Its exact price tier will become apparent once OEMs announce P65-based phones. Overall, it’s a throwback application processor with solid performance upgrades, but it may be the last of its kind.

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