Back in 2014, MediaTek had a small 13% share in the world market of mobile processors (System on a Chip or SoC), being far behind main player Qualcomm and slightly behind Apple. Previously known for making processors for cheap and mid-range smartphones from Chinese manufacturers, in these two years, the Taiwanese chipmaker went on hot after Qualcomm and brought the competition to the market segment of high-end smartphones. Starting with the Helio X10 SoC, MediaTek managed to put their silicon tech into some big names such as Meizu and Xiaomi. The next one to come was the Helio X20, a powerful deca-core processor that can be seen in action with the Meizu MX6, followed by the Helio X25 to allegedly power the Meizu Pro 6, a phone rumored to come with 6 GB of RAM. According to rumors straight from China, the company is already working on the next member of their family of high-end chips, the Helio X30, and the first smartphones powered by such SoC will hit the market early in 2017.
According to Gizchina sources, the X30 will be manufactured using TSMC (one of Taiwan’s leading processor foundries) 10nm FinFET process. The smaller the process, the better a chip is in power consumption and overall performance. For example, the Helio X20 uses a 20nm process, and MediaTek’s main competitor, Qualcomm, uses a 14nm process on the Snapdragon 820. Other than the new manufacturing process, the X30 is rumored to feature a cluster of A53 and A57 cores with a max clock speed of 2.8 GHz for the fastest cores, representing an increase from the current 2.5 GHz of the X20/25. Additionally, the new processor is said to support some interesting features such as support for cameras of up to 26 megapixels, dual main cameras, Virtual Reality and LTE Cat 13. The X30 will be more powerful than its predecessors, but power consumption is said to drop by 50% thanks to the new manufacturing process and other improvements.
Both Helio X20 and X25 have just been announced and there’s a whole year ahead for MediaTek processors show their power and value. The applications processor market is getting very interesting in the past few years thanks to the entrance of many players in the game. If a couple of years ago Qualcomm dominated the high-end market, today we have MediaTek, Samsung, Huawei and Intel going after their slice of the pie. As a result of the fierce competition, each manufacturer is trying to differentiate their offerings and end users get the best result of it with phones coming with better performance and new features.