MediaTek takes on Qualcomm and Samsung with high-end Dimensity 1200 SoC
The Taiwanese company wants a slice of the high-end smartphone marketBy Adrian Potoroaca
Something to look forward to: Mediatek chipsets are not usually a side on the flagship conversation, with stories mostly focused on announcements from Qualcomm, Samsung, and until recently, Huawei. However, that's changing with the Taiwanese company now committed to compete at the high-end with its Dimensity mobile platform.
With over 100 million MediaTek-powered phones sold in the last quarter, the company recently surpassed Qualcomm as the world's biggest mobile chip vendor in terms of market share. Most of those chips are used on budget and mid-range devices, with Qualcomm holding on to the crown as the largest 5G chipset vendor.
Last year, MediaTek saw an opportunity to launch a high-end mobile platform that integrated 5G connectivity, seeing as Qualcomm was more focused on 5G adoption at low-end and mid-range price points. That platform was the Dimensity 1000+, which sported enough CPU and GPU performance to power mid-range and high-end smartphones from Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Honor, and Realme.
Today, MediaTek announced a pair of new Dimensity chipsets, the Dimensity 1200 and the Dimensity 1100. They are built using TSMC's advanced 6nm process node, so they are slightly more efficient than the Dimensity 1000 and 1000+, which were built using a 7nm process.
The architecture has changed to a tri-cluster comprised of a high-performance Arm Cortex-A78 core running at up to 3 GHz (or 2.6 GHz for the Dimensity 1100), three Cortex-A78 cores running at up to 2.6 GHz, and four low-power Cortex-A55 cores running at up to 2 GHz. The GPU on both chipsets is the Arm Mali-G77, which is a strange choice as it's essentially the same 9-core GPU found in last year's Dimensity 1000+. At least the CPU performance should be 20 percent higher with a 25 percent lower power consumption.
Both Dimensity chipsets support high refresh rate displays of up to 168 Hz at 1080p for the Dimensity 1200 and 144 Hz for the 1100. The integrated 5G modem still only supports sub-6 GHz bands, but MediaTek promises it's the fastest of its kind.
This will be difficult to dispute in the real world, as Ericsson estimates 5G coverage is relatively modest and will remain so until 2025.
Other notable features include support for up to 200 megapixel camera sensors, 4K HDR video capture and hardware-accelerated AV1 video decode. The first smartphones to feature the new Dimensity 1200 and 1100 chipsets are expected to come from Realme in the first half of this year.