Dubai: Taiwanese company MediaTek, maker of chips for inexpensive Android smartphones from Asia, is gearing up to compete head-to-head with the dominant Qualcomm.
It is going to be like the war between AMD and Intel in the computer business.
MediaTek has enjoyed a lion’s share in low-cost smartphones but it is focusing on the high-end range with the new octa-core 4G LTE chips going to be launched by end of this year.
With tablets and smartphones growing at a faster pace than traditional computers, even Intel is playing big on mobile devices.
“Most of the innovation is happening in the tablet and smartphone space,” Rami Osman, director of corporate sales and marketing at MediaTek Middle East and Africa, told Gulf News.
The industry has seen a major innovation in the chipset space from single core to eight-core processors.
There are some smartphones available in the market running on octa cores, including Samsung’s and Huawei’s home-grown chips.
“We are the largest supplier of chips in the TV space. We were late into the smartphone space, but now we are on par with other chipmakers and winning business. Price is no more a factor; it is the integration and testing of liability,” Osman said.
He said the industry is dynamic and we have our own vision and strategy, and we are executing it.
“We had 90 per cent year-on-year growth in revenues and was ranked as the world’s third-largest supplier of smartphone chips in the first quarter,” he said.
According to research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics, smartphone processor market grew 25 per cent year-on-year to $4.7 billion in the first quarter of this year while the tablet market grew 30 per cent year-over-year to reach $912 million during the same period.
Qualcomm held the top spot in the smartphone revenue segment with 53 per cent, followed by Apple with 16 per cent and MediaTek with 13 per cent.
In the tablet space, Apple maintained its spot with 30 per cent, followed by Qualcomm with 18 per cent and Intel with 11 per cent revenue share.
Both Intel and MediTek are expecting to ship 40 million tablet chips this year.
The Taiwanese company launched its first 32-bit true octa-core processor — 6592 — in the UAE on UK-based Fly brand on July 14.
Osman claims that MT6592 is the first octa-core processor that can run on eight cores simultaneously compared to ARM’s big. Little architecture used by rivals that can only run four cores at a time.
“The scalable octa-core architecture can run both low-power and processor intensive tasks highly efficiently by harnessing the full capabilities of its eight individual CPU cores in optimal combination,” he said.
He said MT6592 chip is based on the energy-efficient ARM Cortex A7 processor. A7 is the industry’s “most efficient chip architecture”.
Osman said that Google Chrome is already using all the eight cores, and likewise with some map apps, video players plus multi-window function.
The company launched the first true octa-core smartphone chipset with 2K display (2560 x 1600 resolution) support — MT6795 — and designed for high-end Android devices on July 15.
The MT6795 chipset supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS and Glonass connectivity options and capable of running at 2.2GHz speed.
Even though MediaTek has made great strides in the 3G space, it still lags behind in the 4G LTE space, dominated by Qualcomm since 2013.
Osman said that MediaTek next flagship chipset is MT6595 that comes with built-in LTE support. It is also the first one to use the big. Little architecture.
The CPU pairs four Cortex-A17 cores, capable of clocking up to 2.2GHz, and four Cortex-A7 cores, capable of clocking up to 1.7GHz speeds.
Osman said the 64-bit MT6732 and MT6752 LTE chips will be available by end of the year. The MT6752 is for mainstream users and MT6732 for entry-level users.
“Our job is to help the middle class get access to high-end technologies at an affordable price factor,” Osman said.
He said the demand for 4G LTE chipsets depends on China intake. LTE chips will be the growth factor for the future.
The Taiwanese company expects to ship 15 million 4G smartphone chipsets this year due to the expected increase in demand from the Chinese market. It shipped around three million 4G chips in the first half of this year.
MediaTek expects to sell 300 million smartphone chips this year compared to 220 million last year and 40 million tablet chips this year compared to 25 million last year.
Regarding wearable technologies, he said MediTek has two solutions.
“We have Aster chips for non-Android platform and for smart OSs. IOT will be the growth engine. Attractive solutions haven’t come yet; when it comes it will take off. Wearable is a consumer segment and it is very volatile. We are talking to partners for wearable devices,” Osman said.