Samsung Described as "Partner" by Another MediaTek Exec

A senior MediaTek executive, Arthur Wang, has indirectly revealed that Samsung and MediaTek are industry partners at a MediaTek Romanian launch event for the Allview P9 Energy smartphone. The executive said: "We cannot provide information about products that have not yet been announced by our partners." Last week, a MediaTek executive confirmed that Samsung were a customer and this is why they were unable to comment about the Galaxy Note 7 battery issues. Earlier in the year it was discovered that MediaTek and Samsung were working together and Samsung was testing MediaTek's Helio X20 and X25 System-on-Chips in prototype Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphones. Samsung already use two different chipsets in their high end devices such as the Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. These models use either a Qualcomm Snapdragon or Samsung Exynos chipset, depending on the market. We've seen Samsung use processors from different manufacturers depending on the target market and many recent low-end devices have used Spreadtrum chipsets. Samsung has also continued to develop their own entry level chipsets such as the low end, low power Exynos 7570, built in the 14nm process size for improved power efficiency.

At this juncture, it is not clear as to what the terms of any arrangement are between MediaTek and Samsung. It is possible that Samsung are planning on replacing Spreadtrum for their low to mid-range devices, which would seem more likely than Samsung using MediaTek chipsets for their high end devices. If this were the case, Samsung could be refocusing the Exynos line of chipsets for high end smartphones and tablets and buying-in MediaTek chipsets for the low and mid-range devices, although this doesn't explain why the company developed the Exynos 7570 unit. Nevertheless, this could be very good news for MediaTek as they could gain exposure to new markets and ultimately be able to sell Samsung a high end chipset for a flagship device at some point in the future. It's possible that we could be seeing two different chipsets in a flagship device, one powered by the Exynos chipset and the other by a MediaTek chipset rather than a Qualcomm chipset. Perhaps Samsung are deliberately diversifying their chipset providers by adding in another supplier but this would increase the development costs. Whatever happens, the partnership between these two companies should be good news for both.

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About the Author

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.