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MediaTek launches Helio X20 10-core mobile processor

Mediatek Helio X20 image

The core wars continue in the mobile market with China’s Mediatek hoping the launch of its deca-core Helio X20 SoC will help it take share from market leader Qualcomm.

Mediatek’s Tri-Cluster CPU architecture makes its debut in the X20, which features three CPU clusters, each of which has different power/performance characteristics. The X20 contains eight ARM Cortex A53 cores and two higher powered A72s. It follows ARM’s big.LITTLE philosophy of only serving up as much performance as is needed to perform the task, hence maximising power efficiency.

“By leading with mobile CPU architecture and multimedia innovation, MediaTek continues to push the envelope of power efficiency and peak performance,” said Jeffrey Ju, SVP of MediaTek. “We are excited to see device manufacturers raise the bar – in camera, display, audio and other consumer features. MediaTek has been adding innovative multimedia features to our platforms since the very beginning, enhancing the overall computing and multimedia experience as part of our strategy to put leading technology into the hands of everyone.”

While the Helio X20 won’t be available to device makers until later this year, MediaTek has picked a good time to strike another blow against Qualcomm, with the US chip giant revising down its financial outlook thanks largely to the loss of Samsung as a customer for the Galaxy S6. The X20 SoC also supports 3D camera and 120Hz displays, and has an additional Cortex M4 sensor processor for efficient running of background tasks. It remains debatable, however, how much additional value and functionality all these cores offer the end user.

Mediatek Helio X20 diagram


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