Voice Assistant Chips To Push MediaTek Sales In Q3 2017

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Taiwanese fabless semiconductor firm MediaTek is looking forward to increased revenue figures for the third quarter of 2017 after achieving several important design wins for its voice assistant device-focused chipset. The sale of voice assistant chipsets provides the company another source of revenue outside the increasingly competitive smartphone SoC market. While Qualcomm, Spreadtrum, and new competitor Xiaomi is gaining ground in the mid-range smartphone SoC market, it has successfully persuaded a number of manufacturers to incorporate its chipset offering into their voice assistant offerings. Some of the manufacturers that will use MediaTek SoCs include Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi. These tech firms will produce virtual assistant devices for the Chinese market, which based on the total number of consumers alone could mean massive chipset sales for the Taiwanese company. In addition, MediaTek's silicon will power the next-generation Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. The shipment of chipsets required for these devices will begin in the third quarter of 2017, which will cause the increase in MediaTek's revenue.

The MediaTek product that will power the future Amazon Echo and Google Home devices is the MT8516 chipset. This chipset has the necessary audio-focused features to power devices that require voice input. The chipset can support up to eight channels of TDM input and two channels of PDM input. The increased number of audio input channels allows for noise-cancelling features to be incorporated into the voice assistant devices. From launch, it already supports both Google Assistant-powered devices and the Android Things platform, and to further entice manufacturers, the SoC is designed with simplicity and versatility in mind to allow for faster commercialization.

As voice assistant devices become increasingly popular among consumers, it is important for MediaTek to gain substantial market share at its early stages. Doing so will allow the Taiwanese company to have a strong presence and mindshare among consumers and manufacturers. In the short term, however, the company will continue to see increased sales as its chipset is incorporated into more voice assistant devices. Within the next quarter, analysts also expect that increased smartphone and TV SoC sales will further raise the company's revenues.

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