MediaTek's Helio X30 SoC To be Less Power Hungry

Today we have two rumours of the MediaTek Helio X30 System-on-Chip, which is the next generation of MediaTek's high end chipset. We have already seen reports of the Helio X30, which is believed to be made available later in the year. First off, the chipset will use a similar deca-core architecture as we have seen with the Helio X20 and X25 chipsets, but with a different blend of ARM reference core designs: it will use a blend of ARM's new generation, high performance Artemis core as the highest performance cluster. This is set to be a 2.8 GHz dual core cluster. The middle cluster is set to be a 2.2 GHz, quad core cluster of the ARM Cortex-A53 design. The lowest performance, highest efficiency cluster consists of a quad core, 2.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A35 processor. The X30 will use a PowerVR 7000-series, quad core GPU. It will support up to 26MP camera sensors, and two of them at this. The information claims that the X30 only offers 2% performance improvement but cuts power consumption by 50%.

MediaTek's small performance improvement may well be slated by benchmarkers everywhere, especially as the Helio X series has been more about a high end performance, however the chipset's significant reduction in power consumption is important. The reduced power consumption comes from using more efficient application processor core designs: the ARM Cortex-A35 has been designed with reduced power consumption in mind. Furthermore, the Helio X30 will be manufacturer by TSMC using 10nm FinFET technology: it'll use a smaller process than the existing X20 and X25 chipsets, which requires less voltage. This means it will also produce less heat. Furthermore, MediaTek are providing the Helio X30 with a Cat 13 LTE modem giving it a high performance network. Another upgrade MediaTek is installing into the Helio X30 is that it will include the UFS 2.1 memory standard, which had been excluded from the Helio X20 and X25 chipsets - these only supported the eMMC memory storage format. This will improve the memory performance of the new X30 chip. The chipset is believed to support quad channel, LPDDR4 RAM and supports up to 8 GB of RAM.

Another interesting point about the new Helio X30 is that, like the Helio X25, MediaTek is providing the System-on-Chip as an exclusive chipset for one manufacturer for a period of time. At this juncture, we don't know who has the exclusive if anybody: but the source believes that Meizu and Lenovo are in the running.

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David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.