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Forward-looking: Mediatek wants back in the high-end mobile SoC game, and its latest weapon is the Dimensity 1000+. The new chipset supports sub-6 Ghz 5G and is the first that will allow phones to display 4K 60 fps YouTube videos without turning your phone into a hot plate, or so they say.
While Qualcomm is not entirely interested in making a mobile platform that integrates 5G capability just yet, that may open the door for other Asian companies to fill the gap.
Huawei announced its Kirin 990 5G chipset last year in September, which supports sub-6 Ghz 5G but doesn't support mmWave, the variant that is being deployed in high-density urban areas. More importantly, the phones that are powered by the Kirin 990, such as the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, P40 and P40 Pro, as well as the foldable Mate Xs, don't have any access to Android updates and Google services, which are a must outside of China.
At the heart of the new mobile platform lie four Cortex A77 cores running at up to 2.6 Ghz and four lower-power, Cortex A55 cores running at up to 2.0 Ghz, built on a 7nm process. There's also an integrated 5G modem that Mediatek claims is more energy efficient than any competing solution thanks to its ability to dynamically adjust power states.
Just like the Huawei Kirin 990, the Dimensity 1000+ only supports sub-6Ghz 5G, although it does provide faster theoretical speeds – up to 4.7 Gbps download and 2.5 Gbps upload. There's also support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, which is the most you could ask for at this point.
The built-in GPU is a Mali G77 MP9, which is supposed to be more modest than what you'd find in Samsung's Exynos 990 inside the Galaxy S20, but still plenty powerful for mobile games at QHD resolutions. Interestingly, Mediatek claims the Dimensity 1000+ can drive 144 Hz displays and also has support for AV1 decode in hardware, which would be a first in any mobile chipset.
As for what phones will be powered by Mediatek's new chipset, we know that iQOO – a Vivo sub-brand – will be building a smartphone based on the Dimensity 1000+. However, there are rumors that OnePlus may also use it on the much-awaited OnePlus 8 Lite, but hopefully that won't need to cheat in benchmarks to make an impression.