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MediaTek Releases Deca-Core Mobile Processor to Target High-End Market

May 25, 2015 | By CENS

Fabless house MediaTek Inc. has released the Helio X20 microprocessor, which is reportedly the world's first mobile processor with the Tri-Cluster CPU architecture and ten processing cores (Deca-core).

The company, recognized as the No.1 mobile-chip supplier in mainland China in terms of output volume, says the chip is aimed at high-end smartphones priced above RMB3,000 (US$483.87).

Apparently showing confidence in the growing affluence of mainland Chinese smartphone users, Jeffery Ju, MediaTek's senior vice president, believes mainland China's smartphone consumers will look upmarket this year to trade for high-end products after years of shopping for budget products. For instance, owners of US$70 phones in China will likely trade for US$100 phones this year.

Ju points out that China's growth momentum in its mobile-phone market has lost some steam to a steady volume of 400-450 million units overall after years of erratic growth.

He notes that many industry executives did not fully predict in 2014 the extent of impact of currency depreciation to occur in 2015 in Latin America, Southeast Asia, East Europe and even the Euro zone, with the resulting erosion in consumer purchasing power being serious enough to deter consumers from buying new smartphones.

Fortunately, he says, demand in these regions is recovering slowly after currency fluctuations have become more moderate. The euro just a couple months ago dipped near parity to the greenback but has climbed in recent weeks for example.

Such recovery is reflected in MediaTek's shipments, which are climbing in May after hitting bottom in April. Industry executives estimate the company's shipments in June to pick up strongly.

Ju is confident of the company's business outlook for the third quarter particularly after its rollout of Helio X20, without denying reports that this chip will be built into HTC Corp.'s next flagship smartphone. But he has refused to comment whether the new chip will be adopted by Samsung, despite saying that the chip will win orders from major makers of branded smartphones, and that potential customers of Helio X20 include major mainland Chinese smartphone makers as Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Beijing Xiaomi Technology Co., Ltd., Meizu Technology Co., Ltd., VIVO Electronics Corp., and OPPO Electronics Corp.

Ju predicts Helio X20 to replace Helio X10, an eight-core processor released last year, as the company's next business-growth driver when volume production begins in October this year.

The Tri-Cluster CPU architecture in Helio X20 provides three processor clusters, each designed to more efficiently handle different types of workloads. The Tri-Cluster CPU consists of one cluster of two ARM Cortex-A72 cores (running at 2.5GHz for extreme performance) and two clusters of four ARM Cortex-A53 cores (one running at 2.0GHz for medium loads and one running at 1.4GHz for light activities). 


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