MediaTek 8-core MT6592 chip coming in July

Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek is getting ready to launch its first 8-core processor. The MediaTek MT6592 is expected to hit the streets by the end of July.

The 28nm chip features 8 ARM Cortex-A7 processor cores running at speeds up to 2 GHz.

MediaTek

ARM’s Cortex-A7 design offers performance that’s on par with what you’d expect from the Cortex-A9 chips that have been common over the past few years, but they use less power. Most chips based on these designs so far have topped out at dual or quad-core configurations. The MT6592 is the first chip I’m aware of to feature 8 ARM Cortex-A7 cores.

While you’d think that adding more processors cores to a chip would be a sure-fire way to drain your battery more quickly, the opposite is often true. Multi-core smartphone and tablet chips are typically designed in ways that let you save power… unless you’re running a task which requires all of your cores to be running at full speed at the same time. Then your battery’s a goner.

For example, when you’re running a task that’s not optimized for multi-core chips, a processor can shut off the bits that aren’t in use. When a task is optimized, you can use multiple cores running at a lower clock speed to achieve the same performance as a single-core chip running at a higher frequency, which can save power. Or you can use more power… but use it for a shorter period of time and then return to a low power state.

MediaTek isn’t the first company to introduce an 8-core ARM-based processor. Samsung’s Exynos 5410 octa-core chip pairs 4 ARM Cortex-A15 processor cores with 4 lower-power Cortex-A7 cores.

Update: More details are now available at the MediaTek website.

 

  • digi_owl

    Never mind multitasking even when not optimized, as different processes can get their stuff done using a lower clock speeds across multiple cores.

    I keep pondering picking up a Archos 50 Platinum to “play” with.

  • Michael Thompson

    This company just screams “low end”.
    Are there any products -of note- that utilize their chips with any degree of success?

    • optimismprime

      ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, out in quite a few european countries, performance is surprisingly good for a device of its price.

    • crickcrick

      Where are you from the states? UK? or the west to be broad? then most likely you are not the intended target for Mediatek based devices and hence your generalization is that they are low end and you do not find “any products -of note- that utilize their chips” but they sure are powering most of the smartphones in countries like china and india. So what you may ask and the blunt answer would be they are 2nd and 3rd largest smartphone markets in the world. respectively. So Mediatek is doing a pretty good job and then some in the markets that it wants to target.

    • ASM

      The MT6589 (quad A7) is not low end. It ships in pretty much every new mid to sub-high-end phone.

      An Antutu benchmark score of 12-13.5k puts it just below a Nexus 4 or Samsung S3. This means it’s much faster than anything but a flagship phone.

      Check out any site that sells China import Android phones and you’ll be stunned. $205 gets you a phone with 3G, a 1920×1080 panel, dual SIMs, a microSD slot (!), quad A7 @ 1.2GHz CPU and a 2000 mAh battery.

      That sounds like a Samsung S4 with a CPU that has 50% less aggregate CPU MIPS but for 33% of the price.

      Finally, the MT6589 has a rather powerful GPU onboard: the PowerVR SGX 544MP.

      So the implication is clear to me… the mid-range chipset market is going to be brutally competitive. Companies like MT will leverage mostly off-the-shelf CPU designs from ARM and invest their R&D dollars on SoC integration efforts.

      Even here in the USA consumers are balking at paying $650 for an ultra-high end phone. Show me a $200 contract-free device that has a big hi-dpi screen and is very fast (but not insanely $650 fast) and I’m probably a customer. :)

      • ASM

        Typo: “It ships in pretty much every new mid to sub-high-end phone in China.”

      • Michael Thompson

        Never a bad day to learn something! Thank you!

      • Zaatour36

        I can vouch for that CPU!

        Since I’ve owned the Tronsmart TS4, which is the cheapest MT6589 out there around March, for $159.

        For that price, it was very smooth, and fast, wayyy better then double priced Galaxy Grand Duos ~$380.

        I think this company is heading with the right direction, cheap and fast Android devices.

        BTW, i own a Galaxy Note 2, and it’s pretty close to that speed!

    • max1001

      Have you ever used a mtk6589 phone?

      I have and I was very pleasantly surprise. It was as lag free as my Nexus 4. The main problem is the lack of WCDMA for USA. :(

    • eebrah

      The Fairphone http://fairphone.com will run a mediatek chip, is that noteable?

  • max1001

    Just add 1700, 1900, 2100 WCDMA and these would do well in USA. Make phone for MetroPCS and prepaid crowd.

  • Ian Tester

    How can you say that “ARM’s Cortex-A7 design offers performance that’s on par with what you’d expect from the Cortex-A9″?

    The A9 is a full-blown out-of-order superscalar architecture, doing 2.5 DMIPS/MHz. The A7 is a simpler in-order, partially superscalar arch, only doing 1.9 DMIPS/MHz. The theoretical performance of this octocore chip could be achieved with only 6 Cortex-A9 cores, and perform better with single-threaded workloads.
    I don’t know how the two cores compare on power usage though i.e DMIPS/W. That would depend a lot more on each manufacturer’s implementation e.g process size, etc.

    • CyberGusa

      Performance isn’t determined by just whether a processor is OoO or IO type!

      Cortex A9 is four years older than A7 and thus doesn’t have some of the advantages that A7 does, like…

      -Integrated L2 Cache

      -Lower L2 Latency (10 Cycles)

      -Improved OS Support for L2 Maintenance, due to simplified software control

      -Designed with a lower power approach, up to 5x more efficient than Cortex A8

      -Improved branch prediction

      -Improved memory performance

      -64b Load Store path, improves integer and NEON performance

      -128 AMBA 4 buses improve bandwidth

      -Increased TLB size (256 entry, up from 128 entry for Cortex A9 and A5)

      -Increased performance for large workloads like web browsing

      -Seamlessly compatible with Cortex A15 (big.LITTLE)

      Add all of those up and they easily start making up for where it would otherwise be weaker.

  • Tsais

    Samsung gives Cortexiphan to all their Exynos babies

  • Vostok123

    Man, I want to see these processors in PCs and Notebooks, as also in a kind of MK808, I want to run Lubuntu, SliTaz and antiX on them, I want simplicity, I want mobility, I want low consumption, I want reusability …

    Cause I’m tired of AMD, INTEL, NVIDIA have created a cartel and are stagnant and still charge arm and a leg for their garbage.

  • JNG

    “Multi-core smartphone and tablet chips are typically designed in ways
    that let you save power… unless you’re running a task which requires all
    of your cores to be running at full speed at the same time. Then your
    battery’s a goner…”

    …indeed. but there another one thing…the temp… if the mt6589 is running smooth and cool, can this thing too runs well, with just slightly high temp than mt6589,,,,,,who knows

    • JNG

      But ultimately…i’ll pass…for now

      I gonna just wait for an even bigger one…like with an LTE compatible and 64-bit and of course 8-core