Multimode 5G SoC debuts at Computex in Taiwan
While MediaTek is perhaps better known for supplying chips for smart devices like speakers and lower-priced smartphones. But, with the unveiling of a new 5G system-on-chip this week at Computex, the Taiwanese company is looking to take on the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung and HiSilicon by powering more premium smartphones.
According to the company, the as-yet unnamed product will sample to OEMs in Q3 this year with commercial availability expected in the first quarter of 2020. The new SoC will be compatible with both non-standalone and standalone 5G networks operating in sub-6 GHz frequencies but not in millimeter wave bands, which have led network launches in the U.S. from Verizon and AT&T.
Based on the limited specs made available, the new product includes a Helio M70 5G modem capable of 4.7 Gbps download and 2.5 Gbps upload speeds; it’s built using TSMC’s 7-nanometer process and the modem is on-die. That’s a differentiator from Qualcomm’s X50, for instance, and equates to improved efficiency as compared to off-die modems.
“Everything about this chip is designed for the first wave of flagship 5G devices,” MediaTek President Joe Chen said in a statement. But, to clarify, Samsung’s 5G flagship, the Galaxy S10 5G, uses Qualcomm components and is available now so that’s not entirely accurate. And that’s just one of many Qualcomm-powered 5G handsets, including premium-tier devices.
“The leading-edge technology in this chipset makes it the most powerful 5G SoC announced to date and puts MediaTek at the forefront of 5G SoC design,” Chen continued.