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MediaTek Rides 5G to Flagship Phones

December 24, 2019

Author: David Kanter

For MediaTek, 5G is an inflection point as its Dimensity 1000 (D1000) enters the flagship-smartphone-SoC market. The D1000 integrates cutting-edge intellectual property (IP) across the board and a 5G modem with carrier aggregation, offering a new merchant option for premium handsets.

The new chip delivers roughly 2–3x higher performance than the recently released G90T, and it matches or exceeds other flagship-smartphone SoCs, including HiSilicon’s Kirin 990 5G. It starts with the latest Arm IP, such as high-performance Cortex-A77 and Mali-G77 configurations. MediaTek adds its own 5G modem, which is the hallmark of the Dimensity line; 4G-only SoCs will continue under the Helio moniker. Additionally, the D1000 boosts LTE throughput to Category 19 and adds 802.11ax for excellent connectivity.

The integrated modem will reduce power, complexity, and cost for customers, especially Chinese operators focusing on sub-6GHz bands. The chip employs a bevy of heterogeneous cores for efficient imaging and features MediaTek’s custom multicore machine-learning architecture, dubbed the APU 3.0.

Fabricated in TSMC’s advanced 7nm process, the D1000 will appeal particularly to handset vendors without a captive design team. Previously, Qualcomm offered the only merchant silicon for high-end handsets. Although MediaTek is unlikely to catch up by delivering the new chip, its first foray into this market creates a viable second source.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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