MediaTek initially announced the Helio X30 processor back in September, saying that it would bring entirely new levels of battery efficiency and raw power to their Helio processor lineup. According to Taiwanese publication Economic Daily, the new processor is due out in the second quarter of 2017, and the facts about the processor that have come to light so far make MediaTek's claims about it seem anything but hyperbole. The processor will pack a number of unique features, and be one of the first tri-cluster mobile processors out there, as well as one of the first to use TSMC's 10 nanometer manufacturing process.
The processor is reported to have 10 cores in total. A pair of power-packing Cortex-A73 cores, clocked at 2.8 gigahertz, are set to do the heavy lifting. Four Cortex-A53 cores at 2.3 gigahertz are joined by four Cortex-A35 cores at a flat 2 gigahertz to pick up the slack. While some disappointing early benchmarks were spotted recently, those seemed to have been done at less than the chip's full power. The real deal is supposed to go head to head with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 and 821, the same chips that power Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Google's Pixel. Thanks to power management equipment from a Richtek subsidiary on board, the chip is also supposed to put its predecessors to shame in power efficiency, an area that MediaTek's flagship processor lineup already dominates.
The processor is also said to support UFS 2.1 for compatibility with super fast storage, as well as LTE Cat 10, for network speeds up to about 450 megabits per second. It will also support up to 8 gigabytes of LPDDR4 RAM, making it more than suitable for use in competitive modern flagship phones. MediaTek is rumored to begin mass-producing and selling the chips in the first quarter of 2017, with rumors also saying that they should start finding their way into consumer devices by the second quarter of the year. Other rumors peg the first manufacturers to use the chip in a flagship device as OPPO, Vivo, or Meizu. A lot of what's being said about the chip right now is unsubstantiated, so it's anybody's guess as to how its release and commercialization will play out; all that's really known about the chip for the time being is that it's going to bring MediaTek's lineup into competitive territory with Qualcomm's flagships, while boasting improved power efficiency.