MediaTek claims new 64-bit chip will power the fastest Android tablets on the market

MediaTek says that on paper its MT8173 chip can outperform any other chip on the market

Mediatek chip, stock image

Mediatek chip, stock image

MediaTek is making a run to capture the processor performance crown for Android tablets with its 64-bit MT8173 mobile chip, set to go into devices during the second half of this year.

The chip, which combines some of the latest processor technologies available, will give tablets PC-like performance without any effect on battery life, said MediaTek, which introduced the chip a day ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Tablets are processing 4K video, running demanding applications and getting higher-resolution screens. The new chip is designed to meet those requirements, and could allow tablets to have 20-megapixel cameras and handle high-end games on advanced mobile screens with 120Hz refresh rates.

The chip could challenge Qualcomm's 64-bit flagship Snapdragon 810, which is considered one of the faster 64-bit processors and is due to appear in more than 60 devices this year. MediaTek didn't present benchmarks, saying that on paper its CPU specs could outperform rival products.

MediaTek has made a name providing chips for low-cost Android smartphones and tablets. The new chip could give the company a foothold in the premium mobile device market, which has eluded the company so far. MediaTek could snatch market share from Qualcomm, which is especially vulnerable after being fined US$975 million by the Chinese government for monopolistic behavior.

A big advantage of the Snapdragon 810 is integrated LTE, which the new MediaTek chip doesn't have. MediaTek does offer the LTE-capable 64-bit MT6795 chip, which has eight cores but can only support 2048 x 1536 pixel displays.

The quad-core MT8173 is roughly six times faster than its predecessor, the MT8125, which shipped in 2013 and was used in many smartphones and tablets. The new chip pairs two CPU cores based on ARM's recently introduced Cortex-A72 design with two low-power Cortex-A53 cores, which can handle mundane tasks like video calls and MP3 playback. The chip operates at clock speeds up to 2.4GHz.

Many existing 64-bit chips -- like the Snapdragon 810 -- are based on the older Cortex-A57 design, and the Cortex-A72 is considered speedier.

4K video decoding and encoding capabilities come through a PowerVR GX6250 graphics core. Tablets with screens up to 13 inches still don't have -- and may not get anytime soon -- 4K screens, but images can be streamed to attached 4K monitors. So, it may be possible for tablets to receive and process 4K streaming video from a service like Netflix, and then play it back on a TV. The chip supports HDMI output to hook up TVs and tablets.

Application performance will get a boost through a MediaTek technology called CorePilot, which helps break down processing of tasks across GPUs and CPUs. The chip supports OpenCL parallel programming tools, which harnesses the joint computing power of CPUs and GPUs.

MediaTek indicated that it would make more chips based on the Cortex-A72 CPU design in the future.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MWCMediaTekhardware systemsComponentstabletsprocessors

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?