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MediaTek’s M80 Delivers mmWave

March 16, 2021

Author: Aakash Jani

MediaTek’s new M80 modem is the first real millimeter-wave (mmWave) competition for Qualcomm. It brings customers an extensive upgrade by offering faster downlinks and uplinks with support for 3GPP Release 16. The first M80-powered SoC, presumably the company’s next-generation premium-smartphone processor, is scheduled to achieve production in 1H22. The company has no plans to release the M80 as a standalone modem chip.

Relative to its predecessor, the M70, the M80 increases the peak downlink rate by 63% to 7.7Gbps. It also raises uplink rates to 3.7Gbps, besting the M70 by 50%. To deliver these peak speeds, the modem uses dual connectivity to aggregate data across LTE and 5G bands.

Along with the M80, MediaTek has developed its own mmWave RF module, making it the second merchant silicon provider to deliver end-to-end 5G support. Previously, most OEMs designing mmWave phones could use only Qualcomm chipsets. Huawei and Samsung have also developed their own mmWave solutions but deploy them only in their own phones.

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