Shortly after MediaTek's Helio P40 and P70 chipsets earned a spot in the headlines earlier this week following a leaked spec sheet, new reports citing industry sources suggest that the chipmaker is planning on launching at least three new-generation 7nm chipsets in the second half of 2018, or in early 2019 at the latest. These chips will reportedly be part of the Helio X series designed to fit in the top-tier smartphone market and will be built to support 5G networking and AI technologies.
MediaTek's Helio X30 top-tier chipset launched earlier in 2017 failed to meet the company's expectations as its main competitor Qualcomm managed to secure a much larger number of clients. Since it debuted in the first quarter of 2017 the Helio X30 managed to secure only one client, namely Meizu and the PRO 7 flagship series. The poor market performance prompted the chipmaker to halt the production of high-end solutions in the second half of 2017 in an attempt to prevent the gross margins from further decline, and instead, the company seemed to be focused entirely on the upcoming Helio P series designed for the upper mid-range segment. However, according to recent reports, MediaTek will make a return to the premium chipset market in the second half of 2018 or in early 2019 with at least three chipsets manufactured using TSMC's 7nm process. These solutions will reportedly be optimized for upcoming 5G networking technologies and will embrace AI features, but of course, only time will tell if there will be enough demand from device manufacturers or if Qualcomm and other rivals will once again outshine the Taiwanese semiconductor company in the premium segment.
Until these alleged 7nm chipsets will enter mass production, MediaTek will maintain its focus on the upcoming Helio P series which is also expected to be manufactured using TSMC's 12nm process. Both the Helio P40 and P70 should debut in the second quarter of 2018 according to the latest leaks, and reportedly the chipsets will generally be employed by OEMs based in China, including Vivo, OPPO, Gionee, and Xiaomi. Like the Helio X series, the P40 and P70 seem to adopt AI capabilities promoting AR and VR applications while supporting advanced face recognition technologies.