Hsinchu, Taiwan-based MediaTek announced a new system-on-chip earlier this week, having debuted the MT2621 that it describes as an energy-efficient chip designed for Internet of Things devices. The SoC utilizes the ARM7 CPU architecture and comes with a single processor core clocked at a maximum operating frequency of 260MHz, in addition to featuring 160KB of PSRAM and 4MB of internal flash memory. All other hardware integrated into the chip is in line with the average specifications of a contemporary piece of silicon meant to power Internet-enabled gadgets; the MT2621 hence features a power management unit, antenna, and a digital signal processor. GSM and GPRS connectivity is also part of the package, as is support for Narrowband-IoT R14, a relatively new communications standard devised specifically for IoT devices.
MediaTek said its goal while designing the chip was to provide original equipment manufacturers with a component that will allow their devices to offer extended coverage and voice calling services, adding that the MT2621 caters to a wide variety of industries and has countless potential use cases. Apart from being extremely energy-efficient, the chip is also said to be rated for continuous long-term operations and should hence prove to be suitable for use in devices designed to have a long life. By having both an antenna and SIM card support, the chip is ready for most cellular communications tasks manufacturers might be looking to assign to it, MediaTek suggested. Solutions relying on visual and sound processing may also do well with the chip due to its extensive peripheral support, whereas the MT2621 is also compatible with Linux-based apps.
While IoT-only chips are far from a new occurrence in the tech industry, those designed specifically for cellular applications have been gaining additional traction in recent times as 5G research and development has now advanced to the point that various companies can already start planning concrete use cases for solutions relying on high-speed mobile networks. According to recent estimates made by Ericsson, nearly two billion of active IoT devices will communicate with the World Wide Web via a cellular connection by 2023. MediaTek is expected to intensify its focus on IoT chips going forward as the company recently put its premium mobile silicon plans on pause following the disappointing performance of the Helio X30.