Today MedaTek is making quite an unusual announcement: The company is the first to announce a SoC with an integrated 5G modem. Even more interesting is the fact that the new silicon is the first announced design to employ Arm’s brand-new Cortex-A77 cores and new Mali-G77 GPU that were both announced only two days ago.

The odd thing about today’s announcement is that this seems like a relatively early pre-announcement. MediaTek doesn’t divulge the actual product name of the new SoC nor does it go into detail of the specifications. What is divulged however is that the chipset is built on TSMC’s new 7nm process-node, and integrates MediaTek’s own Helio M70 modem IP.

The M70 modem 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. It’s to be noted that we won’t be seeing mmWave from MediaTek this early: In the markets that the company sees the SoC we won’t be seeing mmWave networks deployed for several more years, and in general the US is the odd one out with early mmWave deployments while the rest of the world focuses on sub-6GHz coverage.

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.

Finally, the imaging capabilities of the SoC are said to have been greatly enhanced and now supports 4K60 decode and encode along with 80MP ISP capability.

We don’t know a lot more about the SoC, and exactly what product category its targeting, but we expect MediaTek to still largely target the mid-range. We should be seeing devices with the new SoC released in 2020.

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  • Rudde - Thursday, May 30, 2019 - link

    If I remember correctly, G77 has a minimum of 7 cores. Reply
  • Ayush676 - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    Mediatek has been bringing great tech lately. Reply
  • PeeCee - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    Well, if only they could arm the helio M70 with CPU of at least 2 x cortex a77 @ 2.95 Ghz + 2 x cortex a77 @ 2.45 Ghz + 4 x cortex a55 @ 2.2 Ghz (made of 7++nm node) & GPU of Mali G77 MP10 (at least), the new SoC will be very competitive, I guess Reply
  • PeeCee - Friday, May 31, 2019 - link

    At the same time, Samsung should arm the GPU of Exynos 9830 with Mali G77 MP18, which could possibly outperform Adreno 650 (next generation Snapdragon GPU) Reply
  • amosbatto - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    As long as MediaTek keeps posting tarballs to do the minimum to comply with the GLP 2.0 license for the Linux kernel, I will never buy a MediaTek device, because there is little hope of that device ever being supported by LineageOS or any other independent mod. MediaTek should publish its full commit history for Linux like Qualcomm does in the Code Aurora Forum or nVidia does for the Tegra at nv-tegra.nvidia.com. I only buy mobile devices that run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon, nVidia Tegra, NXP i.MX, Rockchip or Allwinner A20 and allow the bootloader to be unlocked, because I care about user freedom.

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  • urbanman2004 - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    Haven't been keeping up w/ the midrange/mobile SoC space for quite a while so I don't even know if the inclusion of 5G modems on MediaTek's offering is much of a reason for OEM's to jump onboard if MediaTek plans on releasing it soon since 5G hasn't been widely adopted, if not at all. Reply

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