MediaTek reportedly plans to capitalize on recent gains made through the use of dedicated A.I.-focused chipsets with the release of at least two new P Series mobile SoCs over the course of 2018. In fact, according to the source, the company plans to make use of dedicated A.I. functionality in order to continue competing with the upper echelon of mobile devices. That's despite that the company recently announced that it has officially left that particular segment of the market for the time being. Unfortunately, as of this writing, MediaTek has not provided a lot of information about exactly what its new Helio P Series chipsets will actually be capable of. Artificial intelligence is making plenty of headway in addressing challenges to mobile resource management in terms of battery consumption, memory management, and performance. So the company will likely want to take advantage of those advances but pending the announcement of the chips themselves, that is purely speculative.
With that said, MediaTek has provided some insight into at least one of its goals. In addition to the company's attempt to find a way to compete in terms of general performance, MediaTek is reported to be putting an emphasis on security. More directly, the company wants to be able to incorporate high-end facial recognition features in mid-range devices. A.I. is a logical place to start in terms of building the foundation for how the software would work and a dedicated chipset would further help in achieving that goal economically.
The company's shift in approach probably won't come as too much of a surprise to anybody who has been following along with news surrounding the chipset market. A.I.-dedicated chips have already, at least theoretically, proven to be a viable way to compete with top-tier components manufacturers. For example, Huawei's A.I.-focused HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC recently managed to outperform Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC in some simulated benchmarks. Huawei's chipset is, of course, a high-end SoC within the Snapdragon's general price range but MediaTek is holding to the idea that A.I. and associated functions can deliver top-tier features while keeping costs relatively low. Given that mid-range and budget handset sales are dominant on the global scale, it would be difficult to argue with the company's reasoning.