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Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:30

MediaTek confirms 64-bit LTE parts

Written by Peter Scott



Frugal A53, not A57

A leaked MediaTek document has apparently confirmed that the chipmaker will launch at least two 64-bit SoCs by the end of the year.

The info was obtained by Mydrivers.com and the chips are based on the Cortex A53 core, which is practically a 64-bit replacement for the frugal Cortex A7. This means they are entry-level and mid-range parts, as the A53 won’t end up much faster than the A7 – the Cortex A57 is ARM’s new high-end 64-bit core. The MT6732 will feature four CPU cores, while the MT6752 packs eight, which makes it look like the direct successor to the MT6592, MediaTek’s first octa-core based on the Cortex A7 core.

There is still no word on what sort of GPU MediaTek plans to use for the new 64-bit cores. The MT6592 and the rest of the A7 octa-core family feature a Mali 450 GPU, which is hardly cutting edge. However, the recently announced MT6595 (Cortex A17) has much beefier Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series6 graphics.

Both 64-bit parts also feature LTE connectivity. This means they could take on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, which is the first cheap 64-bit SoC to be announced by any chipmaker. It is also interesting to note that the Cortex A53 is expected to be on a par with the Cortex A9r4, which is to be used in the Tegra 4i, Nvidia’s first LTE enabled SoC.

All three outfits appear to have something going for them. Qualcomm still has the best LTE programmers on the planet, which means it can quickly adapt the Snapdragon 410 for any standard and help speed up time to market, but it probably won’t be nearly as fast as MediaTek’s and Nvidia’s offerings. MediaTek could have the CPU performance lead, especially with the octa-core part, while Nvidia’s Tegra 4i might end up with the fastest GPU of all three, but it is not a 64-bit part and it is based on a venerable CPU core.

On-die LTE for the masses is just around the corner and a few months from now consumers should have a lot to choose from. If only we knew what sort of GPU MediaTek has under the bonnet...

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