MediaTek May Ship Over 80 Million 5G Chips This Year

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MediaTek could grab as much as 40 percent of the global 5G mobile SoC market in 2020. According to a report by DigiTimes, the Taiwanese chipmaker is expected to ship more than 80 million 5G mobile SoCs globally this year.

The figures indicate the global 5G smartphone shipments to hit the 200 million mark this year. MediaTek had previously estimated this sales volume. The chipmaker predicts China alone to absorb around 100-120 million 5G smartphones this year.

A majority of the company's 5G SoC shipments will go to Chinese smartphone vendors as well, the report adds. Huawei will likely be its biggest customer this year.

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The beleaguered Chinese giant is looking for alternatives after it was recently forced to move away from TSMC by the American government. It has reportedly increased orders for MediaTek chips by over 300 percent this year.

5G chips could be a major growth driver for MediaTek

Commercial 5G mobile network became a reality in 2019, but 2020 is being labeled as the year of 5G. With the 5G network coverage expanding rapidly on a global scale this year, there's an increased demand for 5G smartphones around the world.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the progress a bit, but overall 5G coverage will continue to grow throughout the year.

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MediaTek sensed the opportunity in this segment and made a comeback in the flagship mobile SoC market late last year.

It launched the Dimensity 1000 in November last year and followed it with three more 5G SoCs. It currently has two flagship-level SoCs, the Dimensity 1000 and 1000+, and two mid-range solutions, the Dimensity 800 and Dimensity 820.

MediaTek is fighting against the global leader, Qualcomm in this market. Samsung and Huawei also make their own in-house mobile SoCs, but they mostly use them in their own devices. Samsung's Exynos chips power a few phones from other OEMs in between, and that's about it.

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So the Taiwanese chipmaker will be primarily competing against Qualcomm to supply 5G chips to OEMs globally. If it manages to hit the projected figure of 80 million shipments, it would be a major growth driver for the company.

Qualcomm is due a Snapdragon 865 successor later this year. It'll go up against MediaTek's Dimensity 1000+. It'll be interesting to see who comes on top.

Rumors have it that both MediaTek and Qualcomm are looking to introduce entry-level 5G chips later this year. So it's only a matter of time before 5G connectivity becomes standard on mobile phones, at least in some markets.

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