MediaTek 5G Soc Infographic

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Probably not, but yesterday MediaTek became the first company to announce a chipset with an integrated 5G modem that is designed on Arm’s brand-new Cortex-A77 cores and new Mali-G77 GPU.

The fact that the company is basing this on the only just announced Arm technology is perhaps the biggest indicator of where this chip stands in terms of development. While MediaTek, Qualcomm and Huawei probably have access to the new architecture it is unlikely that MediaTek has made much progress on the chipset in comparison to Huawei with their extensive R&D resources.

MediaTek is often used in lower-end devices, and they work well for that purpose. Their current flagship SoC is the Helio P60 which uses four Cortex-A53 little cores and Cortex-A73. Both clusters can operate at up to 2 GHz.

The Helio P60 is featured on devices such as the Realme 1, OPPO F9, Nokia X5/5.1 Plus and Vivo V11.

MediaTek are also the only company to launch 10-core based chipsets, but they have not launched one since 2017.

The new chipset, on the surface, looks impressive. The use of Arm’s new Cortex-A77 and Mali-G77 GPU means that the SoC will have the most up-to-date IP at release, something that MediaTek hasn’t been able to achieve in a few generations. Alongside the CPU and GPU, MediaTek will employ its third generation APU design, which uses the company own in-house IP.

What that translates to in real world performance is another question.

The M70 modem, which is the first 5G modem from MediaTek, supports 5G NR in the sub-6GHz spectrum with up to 2x carrier aggregation. The modem supports both standalone as well as non-standalone 5G network architectures.  This modem won’t have mmWave but this spectrum isn’t being rolled out as quickly as others so likely won’t make much of a difference.

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