MediaTek’s newly appointed co-CEO, Rick Tsai, stated at a shareholders meeting recently that the company plans to hire around a thousand new employees in 2017. That’s definitely good news, as it shows that MediaTek is growing and adding more employees should help the company continue to grow in the future. This news comes after there were plenty of rumors in Taiwan that MediaTek would do massive layoffs after its new co-CEO was appointed. But it appears to be quite the opposite now.
Competition in the handset industry, and more importantly the mobile SoC industry, has really heated up. Which can be pretty tough for an industry that has already plateaued. MediaTek is one of the smaller SoC manufacturers out there right now. Qualcomm eats up the majority of the market share, with the rest being shared among MediaTek, NVIDIA, Samsung, Apple, TSMC and a few others. MediaTek has pushed its chips into more handsets recently, with even Motorola using its chips in the Moto E4. MediaTek does have a distinct disadvantage though, when it comes to the US. And that is the fact that its chipsets are not certified by the US carriers. Therefore selling smartphones in the US with MediaTek chipsets is pretty hard. It’s something that the company is working on though, as the US is a pretty huge market.
MediaTek’s Tsai did also disclose that the company is working with TSMC on manufacturing 7nm chipsets. What this means is that it will be working on making chipsets even smaller, and that leaves more room in the device for perhaps a larger battery, or even the ability to make the device smaller. Qualcomm and Samsung already have a 10nm processor available in the Snapdragon 835 (Qualcomm designed it, Samsung built it in mass production). That’s the future of computing, making smaller processors that can be more energy efficient. And while we are likely a couple of years out from a 7nm chipset being in our next smartphone, it’s something that chip makers like MediaTek are planning for today, and perfecting. And it’s not surprising to see them working with TSMC, after all, Qualcomm does work with Samsung on its own chips.