MediaTek, the Taiwanese semiconductor company, has released its revenue guidance for the year, saying that it expects its revenues to grow 25% over last year. The company had earlier said that it expects its revenues to grow only around 10% this year. According to MediaTek president, Mr. CJ Hsieh, the upwards revision is partly on account of higher shipments of smartphones powered by MediaTek chips, with many Chinese vendors starting to see higher growth than their global counterparts in recent months. This was announced by Mr. Hsieh at an investors meeting held at MediaTek’s Taipei City headquarters yesterday, August 3rd. He also said that he expects gross margins to stabilize between 35% and 38% during the rest of this year.
MediaTek has come a long way since the 1990s when it was mostly a small-time semiconductor company designing inexpensive chips for optical drives and home entertainment products before subsequently branching out into the lucrative world of smartphones and tablets earlier this millenium. The company’s second quarter revenues this year hit a record high of NT$72.53 billion (US$2.29 billion), although gross margins fell to an all-time low of 35.2%. The company, however, says that it expects its revenues to climb even further in the coming months, with Q3 2016 expected to bring in NT$78.3 – NT$84 billion (US$2.47 – US$2.65 billion) in consolidated revenues, thanks to shipments of 145-155 million chips meant for smartphones and tablets alone.
While not many of MediaTek-based products are available in North America and Western Europe, mobile SoCs and baseband chips from the company are fairly common in markets elsewhere. Even though the company recently unveiled its Helio X30 SoC (System-on-Chip), the latest commercially-available top-range mobile SoCs from the company are the Helio X20 (MT6797) and Helio X25 (MT6797T), both of which have a deca-core, tri-cluster CPU architecture. While the basic underlying architecture of the two chips remain virtually identical, the only real difference between them lie in their clock speeds. While the two Cortex-A72 cores in the Helio X20 are allowed to operate at a maximum frequency of 2.3 GHz, they’re clocked at 2.5 GHz in the Helio X25. There are minor differences in the clock speeds of the eight Cortex-A53 cores as well, but what makes more of a difference is the change in operating frequency of the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU, which is clocked at just 780 MHz in the Helio X20, but at 850 MHz in the X25.