MediaTek might still be lagging Qualcomm when it comes to the high-end processors, with the latter component manufacturer boasting of ever decreasing die sizes and higher performance processors, but when it comes to the better value (that's a nicer way of writing "cheaper") chipsets, MediaTek may well be able to give Qualcomm a bloody nose. To date, we've seen many handsets launched with a 64-bit processor and integrated LTE using the Snapdragon 410 processor, which is the follow-up to the hugely successful Snapdragon 400. However, Qualcomm are getting into their stride when it comes to 64-bit lower and mid-range chipsets. I bring you news today that MediaTek is launching the mid-range MT6753 chipset.
The MT6753 incorporates eight ARM Cortex-A53 processor cores, clocked at up to between 1.3 GHz and 1.5 GHz, with the Mali-T720 graphics processor. This supports a 1080p display, cameras up to 16 MP, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and integrated CDMA technology across the LTE, FDD-LTE, WCDMA, T-SCDMA, GSM, CDMA1x and EVDO. That's a lot of acronyms but the point is that the MT6753 follows Qualcomm's lead by adopting numerous integrated wireless standards, which makes it easier for manufacturers to design and build a smartphone covering these technologies and using this processor. And whilst the processor is designated a mid-range unit, not so long ago these device specifications would have been considered hig- end or even flagship level.
Qualcomm should be feeling the pressure from MediaTek. When the Snapdragon switched to 64-bit ARM cores, Qualcomm's custom processor core design was not ready and so they have switched to the ARM reference core. Recent Qualcomm Snapdragon processors have used their customized "Krait" core, a means of distinguishing their processors from the competition. However, for their mid-2014 and 2015 processors, Qualcomm are essentially using the same processor cores as MediaTek. There are differences in the chipsets; typically, the modems that are bundled with the devices and of course, price and availability. However, with the Snapdragon 410 offering a quad core processor bundle and the MT6753 offering an octa core processor bundle, it's easy to see how marketing managers might favor the MediaTek unit, especially if the engineers cannot come up with enough reasons why Qualcomm should get the business. It's an exciting time to be watching the mobile processor industry!