MediaTek’s approach to chipsets may not be the same as Qualcomm, but the Taiwanese company has been doing quite well in designing budget chipsets that offer higher value for the buck. The company has now confirmed that it is working on a 5G-enabled chip which will be manufactured on a 7nm process. The chip is slated to be unveiled this year.
While the company’s present flagship, the Helio P90 SoC is made on a 12nm process, Finbarr Moynihan, MediaTek’s Vice President of corporate sales and business development in America and Europe told Android Authority that the 5G chip will be made on a 7nm process. To recall, the 7nm process is the most advanced manufacturing process available right now, and the Snapdragon 855, Kirin 980 and the Apple A12 Bionic are all manufactured on the same process.
The 5G-enabled chip will also come with a host of machine-learning based hardware and will be positioned “towards the higher end” of the market. The report states the upcoming chip will be more powerful than the present Helio P90.
The Taiwanese company also has its own M70 5G modem which was unveiled last year. At the launch, MediaTek had announced the chip will go into mass production in 2019 and the first phones touting the modem will be out by 2020.
Furthermore, during the Helio P90 launch, MediaTek had claimed the successor will be powered by the latest ARM Cortex-A76 cores, which is also used by Huawei in its flagship, while Qualcomm uses a custom design of the cores for the Snapdragon 855 and even the mid-range Snapdragon 675 that’s on the Redmi Note 7 Pro. At this point, it may be unclear whether the 7nm chip will use the Cortex-A76 cores, but it all seems very likely.
Considering MediaTek’s DNA of offering chipsets at a lower cost than Qualcomm, the company could make 5G phones more affordable. Currently, the 5G phones revealed by LG, Samsung and the likes are all prohibitively expensive. Hopefully, MediaTek’s upcoming chipset might bring the cost of owning a 5G phone down.