MediaTek started promoting its new Helio branding for SoCs back at MWC this year, and we had the please to cover the the new Helio X20 announcement just a few weeks ago. While the X-series is supposed to target the higher end (dubbed "eXtreme Performance"), the P-line is aimed at the budget mid-range ("Premium Performance" as MediaTek calls it). Today's announcement of the Helio P10 marks the first SoC in the P-series to adopt the new branding.

The P10 is the direct successor to last year's MT6752, which saw some quite widespread in adoption by Chinese vendors such as Meizu (M1 note), Gionee (Elife S7) or JiaYu (S3) and others. The P10 improves on its predecessor, the the MT6752, by taking a lot of improvements which were introduced with the X10 and X20.

On the processor side, the CPU configuration remains a dual-cluster with four A53 cores per cluster. The MT6752 clocked both clusters at the same clock, running from 1.7 up to 2.0GHz as its maximum frequency depending on the chip bin. The P10 keeps this 2.0GHz maximum clock for its performance cluster, but has a slower cluster at lower speeds which we weren't yet able to confirm with MediaTek 1.1GHz.

MediaTek 2015 Main Lineup
SoC MediaTek
Helio X20
(MT6797)
MediaTek
Helio X10
(MT6795)
MediaTek
Helio P10
(
MT6755)
MediaTek
MT6752
CPU 4x Cortex A53 @1.4GHz

4x Cortex A53 @2.0GHz

2x Cortex A72
@2.3-2.5GHz
4x Cortex A53 @2.2GHz

4x Cortex A53 @2.2GHz
4x Cortex A53
@1.1GHz


4x Cortex A53 @2.0GHz
4x Cortex A53
@1.7-2.0GHz


4x Cortex A53
@1.7-2.0GHz
Memory
Controller
2x 32-bit @ 933MHz
LPDDR3

14.9GB/s b/w
2x 32-bit @ 933MHz
LPDDR3

14.9GB/s b/w
2x 32-bit @ 800+MHz
LPDDR3

12.8+GB/s b/w

(To be confirmed)
1x 32-bit @ 800MHz
LPDDR3

6.4GB/s b/w
GPU Mali T8??MP4
@700MHz
PowerVR G6200
@700MHz
Mali T860MP2
@700MHz
Mali T760MP2
@728MHz
Encode/
Decode
2160p30 10-bit
H.264/HEVC/VP9
decode

2160p30
HEVC w/HDR
encode
2160p30 10-bit
H.264/HEVC/VP9
decode

2160p30
HEVC
encode
1080p30
H.264 & HEVC
decode

1080p30
H.264
encode
1080p30
H.264 & HEVC
decode

1080p30
H.264
encode
Camera/ISP Dual ISP
32MP @ 24fps
21MP single or
16MP + 8MP dual
21MP single or
16MP + 8MP dual
16MP
Integrated
Modem
 LTE Cat. 6
300Mbps DL
50Mbps UL

2x20MHz C.A. 
(DL)
LTE Cat. 4 
150Mbps DL 50Mbps UL
 LTE Cat. 6
300Mbps DL
50Mbps UL


2x20MHz C.A. 
(DL)
 LTE Cat. 4 
150Mbps DL
50Mbps UL

 

Memory bandwidth was supposedly also increased, and I suspect, but again in need of confirmation, that we're talking about finally switching over to a dual-channel memory controller, as the MT6752 was still sporting a single 32bit controller. The P10 is aimed at 1080p devices so it looks that MediaTek is keeping the graphics performances conservative and power efficient.

MediaTek also upgrades the GPU from a Mali T760 to a T860, but keeps the shader core count steady at 2. We again see some interesting power claims concerning the T8XX series as MediaTek claims the new GPU uses only 70% of the power of the previous T760 iteration while improving performance by 20%, but we might be not talking solely architectural improvements as the P10 comes on a brand-new silicon manufacturing node.

The P10 is the first SoC to be announced on TSMC's 28HPC+ process. TSMC published the 28HPC process last autumn as a successor to 28HPM - with the advantages of a slight die shrink and improved power characteristics. 28HPC+ is yet another iteration that was publicly talked about last April, and promises a 15% gain in performance or a quite large 30 to 50% reduction in leakage at the same speed when compared to 28HPC.

We'll continue to see the 28nm process to live on for a long time in the mid-range and cost-sensitive segments as it marks the sweet-spot in the transistors/$ scaling, and 28HPC(+) is one of the first enablers of this life-time extension.

The Helio P10 also takes over the modem sub-system that we've seen announced in the X20 - with LTE rel.11 Category 6 capability and 2x20MHz carrier aggregation on the download stream. This also includes crucial CDMA2000 support that MediaTek needs to be able to penetrate the North American and other limited markets.

The mainstream lineup is the Taiwanese company's bread & butter and is the source of where MediaTek has seen most of its notorious successes. The P10, being part of this segment, will very likely see similar widespread adoption in low-cost devices as the Chinese smartphone boom continues to grow.

The Helio P10 is supposed to be sampling in early Q3 2015 and with phone mass-production happening towards the end of the year in the fourth quarter.

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  • Gemuk - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    Why would anybody use the X10 over this? Reply
  • close - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    Well... for one this is Premium and that's eXtreme. Branding is a powerful tool.

    One other important aspect is that 2160p. 1080p is nothing to brag about on a phone's box. No manufacturer wants to have a premium phone (just below the flagship) that delivers the same numbers on paper as every other phone out there, even entry level ones. And that 2160p figure on the box will more than compensate for crippled figures like those of the integrated modem.

    When you sell numbers (like screen res and video capabilities) at some point you have to start working on components that aren't as marketable on the box but are needed to support those numbers (like a SoC that's able to drive all that) even if real world benefits are small.
    Reply
  • jjj - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    X10 will approach the end of it's life cycle and be replaced by X20 when this one arrives. Reply
  • LukaP - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    "We'll continue to see the 28nm process continue to live on for a long time"
    Quite an odd sentence. May i recommend "The 28nm process will live on for a long time", as a less awkward alternative? Or perhaps "We'll see the 28nm process continue to live on for a very long time".
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    Typo, I meant to write the latter version. Thanks. Reply
  • yannigr2 - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    Mediatek is getting serious and this is good. Reply
  • Vegator - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    I have a strong suspicion that the SoC will continue to use a single-channel 32-bit memory controller, perhaps with support for higher clock speeds.

    It is my understanding that a dual-channel memory controller (because of the extra pins and data connections) can significantly raise manufacturing cost of both the SoC (including packaging) and the phone PCB. Current mid-range SoCs such as the MT6752 and Snapdragon 615 all use a single channel memory controller for this reason.

    MT6752 with its Cortex-A53 cores and MediaTek's interconnect bus already achieved relatively high memory efficiency with just a single DRAM channel (as illustrated, for example, by Geekbench memory subtest scores). The Mali-T760 GPU (and by extension the Mali-T860) also contain memory bandwidth optimization techniques that seem to make even 1080p workable with just a single channel of memory bandwidth.
    Reply
  • jjj - Monday, June 01, 2015 - link

    So the MT6755 gets a fancy name.
    Assumed it's on HPC+ , wonder if the SD620/618 is on it too.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - link

    28nm...... one would spend more time on a charger unless its a tablet. Reply

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