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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  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    My educated guess is 2xA77 and 6xA55 (or maybe A53).
  • Dodozoid - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    There is IMHO no point in using A53 in conjunction with A77 due to dynamIQ architecture. A77 plugs in it, A53 does not. A55 is dynamIQ enabled A53 for all intents and purposes...
  • levizx - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    A53 is not possible. Only A55/65/75/76/77 are compatible with each other.
  • Teckk - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    This is a surprise. Does Qualcomm have an integrated 5G modem yet?
  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    They have the X55 which will be integrated into the SD865 next year.
  • KarlKastor - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    To announce a product is not difficult. They don't tell a single word about release date.
    I don't expect them to be the first with newest ARM IP and/or integrated 5G modem in the market.
  • LiviuTM - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    Exactly. And let's not talk about implementation, I think Mediatek's wilbe below Qualcomm's, Samsung's or Huawei's.
  • SmokeandMirrors - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    This is just to get the market more rattled on Qualcomm's stock and try to scare the Commerce Dept into lifting the Huawei ban. Strangely (not), the article fails to mention that MediaTek is a Chinese company located in Taiwan, so it is unaffected by the Huawei ban. Huawei's days are numbered if the ban isn't lifted.
  • eek2121 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    Not really. Anandtech neglected to mention this, but ARM is going to continue to license their IP to Huawei and they can still sell products in both Europe and China. Even if every other country in the world banned them they would have enough business to keep them afloat.
  • SmokeandMirrors - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - link

    Yes really. To quote the British press yesterday "BBC News reported that ARM staff were told to halt all current and future contracts with Huawei, citing an internal company memo. ARM confirmed that it was complying with the restrictions enacted by the US government." The BBC went on to say "...the internal ARM memo states that the company’s designs feature 'US origin technology'," to clear up misunderstandings (like yours) about them being able to sell to Huawei. They cannot. The arbitrary decision by May to go with Huawei for part of its 5G system is FAR from being set in stone, and can be stopped immediately by Johnson when he takes office. Of course any communist country can continue to sell only to themselves as you state, just like the Soviets did during the Cold War, but that isn't what most honest people would call "staying afloat."

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