Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek ships more smartphone processors than any other company, with over 40% market share in the second quarter of 2021. But for the most part MediaTek’s processors have been aimed at budget, mid-range, and “premium” phones… but not flagships.
The company has a plan to change that, and it starts with the new MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor, which is expected to arrive in devices starting early next year.
The Dimensity 9000 isn’t just MediaTek’s most powerful mobile processor to date. It’s also the first from any chip maker to feature a range of new technologies including:
- ARMv9 CPU cores
- ARM Mali-G710 graphics
- Support for LPDDR5X memory
It’s also the first chip to be manufactured using TSMC’s 4nm process. MediaTek says that brings a 6% reduction in die area when compared with TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing process with improved performance and power efficiency.
The Dimensity 9000 is an octa-core processor that features:
- 1 x Cortex-X2 CPU core @ 3.05 GHz
- 3 x Cortex-A710 CPU cores @ 2.85 GHz
- 4 x Cortex-A510 CPU cores @ 1.8 GHz
When ARM introduced those new designs earlier this year, the company promised up to a 35% boost in CPU performance, up to 3X the AI performance, and improved efficiency.
While it’s likely that most chip makers licensing ARM designs will take advantage of those upgrades soon, MediaTek is the first to announce a chip featuring the updated design.
The Dimensity 9000 also features 850 MHz Mali-G710 10-core graphics (for up to 35% better performance and a 60% improvement in power efficiency), and a new 5th-gen MediaTek neural engine that the company says brings 4X improvements in both performance and efficiency.
A new Imagiq790 triple 18-bit ISP brings support for up to a 320MP single camera or three 32MP cameras. Video capabilities include support for recording 8K video at 30 frames per second or 4K video at 120 fps, while the chip can decode video at resolutions up to 8K/60fps.
The chip should support devices with FHD+ displays that have refresh rates up to 180 Hz, or WQHD+ displays at up to 144 Hz.
Devices with the Dimensity 9000 processor will support 3200 MHz LPDDR5 or 3750 MHz LPDDR5X memory, and the chip also supports 5G NR Sub-6GHz networks as well as 4G LTE.
Without mmWave support though, the chip may have limited appeal in the US, where the technology is still rare, but considered a selling point for networks like Verizon.
Other wireless features include support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.