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MediaTek Brings 5G to Mid-Premium

February 25, 2020

Author: Linley Gwennap

After rolling out its first premium-tier smartphone processor, MediaTek is updating its mid-premium lineup. Sticking with a new brand for 5G products, the Dimensity 800 integrates a 5G modem, like the premium Dimensity 1000. In fact, the D800 offers most of the same features as its big brother, but it scales everything down to reduce cost and, unfortunately, performance. Even so, it brings new capabilities to mid-premium phones, which typically sell for $300­–$500. MediaTek expects the first devices using the new processor to ship in 1H20.

One place where the company splurged is in the number of “big” CPUs. Other mid-premium processors use two big cores and six “little” cores (2+6) to reduce die area, but the D800 employs the same 4+4 configuration as most premium processors, offering four big CPUs. This change boosts performance for apps that have three or more heavy (performance critical) threads, including benchmarks that measure multicore throughput. But the 7nm design skimps with a four-core GPU.

Although the new mid-premium D800 is MediaTek’s first 5G processor in this tier, it competes against other 5G models such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 and Samsung Exynos 980 5G. These products will help bring down the price of 5G phones over the coming year. MediaTek targets sub-6GHz operators in China and elsewhere, as it doesn’t supply millimeter-wave (mmWave) RF components for the faster 5G flavor that the US prefers.

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