Following up on the ARM news, the first Cortex-A17 SoC variant has been announced by Chinese semiconductor manufacturer MediaTek in its MT6595 SoC. The SoC is a new octa-core chip that consists of four 2.2-2.5GHz A17 cores and four 1.7GHz A7 series cores with a Rogue PowerVR Series6 GPU to handle graphics rendering at a much lower base cost than competing SoCs from Qualcomm and Samsung.
MediaTek is not only touting this as a lower-cost option to the aforementioned companies solutions, it’s positioning the chipset to make its big push into the US market, where MediaTek processors are typically seen as vastly underpowered compared to the familiar Qualcomm Snapdragon series and derided for being found in low-cost rebranded Chinese Android devices sold by local US distributors such as the quickly growing BLU Products.
The A17 cores come with a 60 percent improvement in performance over the current A9 cores, and are primarily designed to make midrange smartphones and tablets even faster than before at less cost, with MediaTek also boasting of high-end technology integration such as ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture and Heterogeneous Multi-Processing for dynamic handling of task processing by either assigning all eight cores to a single task or scaling all the way down to 1-2 cores for basic tasks and claiming overall better performance than Samsung’s current octa-core Exynos chipsets.
Finally, MediaTek also claims that the MT6595 is the first octa-core LTE system-on-chip with an H.265 Ultra HD Codec built-in to the platform, which allows 4K/2K video recording and playback capabilities, though these capabilities will be optional and left up to the specific OEM to enable in their devices, as such recording capability also tends to tax the typical camera hardware found integrated with MediaTek-powered smartphones.
The chipset will begin sampling to manufacturers and carriers in the first half of this year, and is expected to arrive in products during the second half of the year.