MediaTek are an interesting processor manufacturer, having risen to become one of the world's largest mobile device processor, or system-on-chip, manufacturers in a relatively short space of time. MediaTek processors can be found inside a number of devices, low end to high end, such as Android One devices to the new HTC One M9 Plus. We've news today that MediaTek have announced a pair of System-on-Chips specifically designed for tablets, the MT8163 and MT8736 designs. These are both quad-core, 64-bit processors designed for low to mid-range tablets, but are otherwise quite different.
The lower end MT8163 processor has been designed for WiFi-only tablets. MediaTek's information explains that the system-on-chip produces an AnTuTu benchmark score of around the 30,000 point, and it's based around a quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor. The processor supports Android 5.1 , H.265 video, dual-band 802.11 WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 but there is no provision for a cellular data modem. The MT8163 can handle display resolutions of up to 1080p, which marks it as a lower end processor. Another snippet of information is that manufacturers may only be paying $5 a unit for the processor.
MediaTek's marketing literature describes the MT8736 as being 20% faster than the competition whilst using 10% less energy. It includes high end camera features such as picture-in-picture and supports cellular networking radios (encompassing FDD-LTE, TDD-lTE, WCDMA, CDMA2000, full-mode 4G tablet TDS and GSM technologies) in addition to dual band 802.11 WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 radios. It's not known how much the MT8736 will cost manufacturers or the clock speed differences between this processor and the MT8163.
One of the stories circulating the Internet regarding these two new MediaTek processors is that both use an AMD-sourced GPU (graphics processor unit) which is reputed to have scored poorly in benchmark tests. With this in mind, it is possible that MediaTek still have additional refinements to make to these designs. Of course, benchmarks are one thing, whereas real world performance is another. At this time, we also don't know when the two mobile processors are due to be released to the market, although follow-up news should not be too far away.