MediaTek is reportedly preparing a new upper / mid-range chipset, the Helio X27, according to a leaked image on Chinese social media website, Weibo. As with other mid to upper range MediaTek chipsets, the new Helio X27 has a total of ten application processors arranged in three tiers using two different application processor models: the ubiquitous 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 for the lower and mid performing tiers combined with the ARM Cortex-A72 core for the high performance tier. The screen image shows that the Cortex-A72 dual core cluster has a maximum clock speed of 2.6 GHz and there are two clusters of quad-core Cortex-A53 application processors, each clocked at up to 1.6 GHz. The notes accompanying the image suggest that the new chipset is to be constructed using a 20nm manufacturing process.
MediaTek's existing ten-core, three-tier chipsets typically have one quad core cluster of Cortex-A53 processors clocked at a lower speed, another cluster clocked in or around the 2.0 GHz clock speed and the high performance Cortex-A72 cores able to run at a higher clock rate. The image shows that the new chipset uses a three tier HMP (heterogeneous multi-processing) architecture, which means that the chipset can use as few or as many different individual applications cores as the workload sees fit. This should allow the MediaTek Helio X27 to relatively sip battery; the main advantage to the tri-tier processing model is that it allows the chipset to closely match the processor cores in use to the task being carried out. For background tasks such as media playback or checking email when the screen is locked, we would expect the Helio X27 to use the low power cluster, whereas for rendering web pages we might expect the ARM Cortex-A72 dual core chipset to be used. For other application uses, the MediaTek chipset will typically use the middling core.
As regards where the MediaTek Helio X27 will fit into MediaTek's existing chipset range, its model designation suggests that it will sit between the Helio X25 and the up-and-coming Helio X30. Furthermore, the rumor suggests that the first device using the Helio X27 chipset will be an unannounced LeEco smartphone. Unfortunately at this juncture, we have no further information as to the Helio X27's other specifications, such as the integrated GPU or the modem being used with the processor. We will need to wait for another leak with collaborating information, or perhaps either LeEco or MediaTek to release additional information.