MediaTek announces the Dimensity 700 for 5G smartphones and the MT8195 and MT8192 for Chromebooks
MediaTek, the Taiwan-based fabless semiconductor company known for its low-end and mid-range smartphone SoCs, announced its first-ever 5G system-on-chip in the form of the Dimensity 1000 in November 2019. Since then, the company has expanded the 5G Dimensity series of chips by launching the Dimensity 800, Dimensity 1000L, Dimensity 1000 Plus, Dimensity 820, Dimensity 800U, Dimensity 1000C, and the Dimensity 720. Now, the company is back with another group of announcements. It has announced the Dimensity 700, which slots in as the entry-level, low-end option in the Dimensity series. It has also announced the MT8192 and the MT8195 SoCs for Chromebooks.
MediaTek Dimensity 700
The MediaTek Dimensity 700 theoretically slots in below the Dimensity 720, but it’s difficult to distinguish between the members of MediaTek’s increasingly convoluted Dimensity chip portfolio. It’s a 7nm SoC with an integrated 5G modem, just like other Dimensity chips. It’s intended for the mass market, and MediaTek says its addition to the Dimensity series gives device makers a full suite of options for 5G phones, ranging from flagship and premium to mid-range and mass-market devices, thus making 5G more accessible for consumers.
The Dimensity 700 has the expected connectivity features including 5G Carrier Aggregation (2CC 5G-CA) and 5G dual SIM dual standby (DSDS), which theoretically gives users access to fast speeds and 5G-exclusive Voice over New Radio (VoNR) services from either connection. The theoretical maximum downlink speeds are 2.77Gbps.
The Dimensity 700 features two ARM Cortex-A76 big cores clocked at up to 2.2GHz in its octa-core CPU, which means the remaining six are ARM Cortex-A55 little cores, although the company didn’t specify their clock speed. Strangely, the Dimensity 700’s Cortex-A76 cores seem to be clocked higher than those of the Dimensity 720. MediaTek also hasn’t specified the details of the GPU featured in the SoC, although we can make an educated guess that it is probably the Mali-G57 in a 3-core configuration, like the Dimensity 720. The chip features 2133MHz LPDDR4X memory and UFS 2.2 dual-lane storage.
The Dimensity 700 features MediaTek’s 5G UltraSave technology, which delivers advanced power-saving technologies to improve battery life, according to the company. It includes UltraSave Network Environment Detection, MediaTek 5G UltraSave OTA Content Awareness, Dynamic BWP, and Connected Mode DRX. The built-in technology intelligently manages a phone’s 5G connection to cut down on power consumption. It’s worth noting that Qualcomm features a similar technology in its 5G Snapdragon chips.
In terms of display support, it’s a bit disappointing to see that the Dimensity 700 once again opts to forego including support for 120Hz displays, as the maximum display refresh rate supported is 90Hz. For mass market devices, this is acceptable, but 120Hz-featuring devices such as the POCO X3 are already making their way to lower price points. The chip supports a maximum of Full HD+ resolution.
The Dimensity 700 supports 48MP or 64MP main camera sensors with AI-bokeh, AI-color and AI-beauty features. The integrated hardware-based imaging accelerators enable multi-frame noise reduction (MFNR) to enable users to capture better photos with low noise even at night.
Finally, the chip supports voice assistants from global brands such as Alibaba, Amazon, Baidu, Google, and Tencent, which gives device makers more configuration options. For international users, only Google and Amazon are relevant for voice assistants.
MediaTek didn’t specify when we should expect the Dimensity 700 to make its way in smartphones. The company’s limited international availability is an issue, as most phones featuring Dimensity chips have been restricted to China-only availability so far, including ones with great value propositions such as the Redmi 10X. In August, the company did state it would make its Dimensity chips available for global smartphones in Q4, but we haven’t seen much momentum on this yet, apart from the T-Mobile LG Velvet, which featured the Dimensity 1000U. When it arrives in phones, the Dimensity 700 will compete with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 SoC, which features newer ARM Cortex-A77 cores and which should also see better device adoption.
MediaTek MT8195 and MT8192 SoCs for next-generation Chromebooks
MediaTek has also announced its new MT8192 and MT8195 chips for the next generation of Chromebooks. The MT8192 is fabricated on a 7nm process and is intended for mainstream devices, while the higher-end MT8195 is manufactured on TSMC’s 6nm process (a step below the cutting-edge 5nm process) and is intended for premium devices. The company promises that with these new chips, brands can design powerful, sleek and lightweight Chromebooks that deliver longer battery life and “incredible computing experiences” from video conferencing and streaming video to cloud gaming and AI-powered applications. These next-generation Chromebooks can have innovative form factors that can flip, fold, or detach while being slim and lightweight. They are promised to offer excellent battery life.
The MT8192 and MT8195 chips both feature a high-performance AI Processing Unit (APU) to power voice and vision-based applications. MediaTek says its APU technology is designed to seamlessly process voice ID recognition and voice control, speech and image recognition, speech to text, live translation, object recognition, background removal, noise reduction, image and video segmentation, gesture control, and Google AR Core-based enhancements, all in real-time. They also have a dedicated audio digital signal processor (DSP) to enable ultra-low-power voice wakeup (VoW) for voice assistants.
With the MT8192 and the MT8195, device makers can design Chromebooks with a variety of camera configurations, as they feature a high dynamic range (HDR) image signal processor (ISP) and hardware depth engine. This gives device makers the option to integrate super-large 80MP 4-cell cameras, single 32MP cameras, or dual camera setups up to 16MP + 16MP for better video conferencing.
MT8195 SoC for premium Chromebooks
The high-end MT8195 integrates an octa-core CPU with four of the latest-generation ARM Cortex-A78 big cores and four power-efficient ARM Cortex-A55 cores to maximize battery life. The chip also integrates MediaTek’s APU 3.0, which provides up to 4 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of performance. Unfortunately, the GPU here is not a high-end variant, as MediaTek has gone with a five-core ARM Mali-G57 (Mali-G57MC5), which is not powerful enough for a SoC intended for premium devices. (The company’s Dimensity 1000+ features the Mali-G77MC9, for instance.)
In terms of memory support, the MT8195 supports quad-channel LPDDR4X RAM. It also supports up to three simultaneous displays. The chip features support for Dolby Vision, 7.1 surround sound audio and a Codec AV1 hardware video accelerator. (Qualcomm has yet to support AV1 hardware decoding in its Snapdragon chips, so MediaTek is ahead here.) MediaTek notes that AV1 hardware decoding uses less data while offering great graphics and smooth video experiences.
MT8192 SoC for mainstream Chromebooks
The MediaTek MT8192, on the other hand, is a lower-end chip with lower-end specifications, as expected. It features two-generations old ARM Cortex-A76 big cores, which is quite disappointing to see as the faster Cortex-A77 cores could have been used as well. The Cortex-A76 cores are paired with the Cortex-A55 little cores as expected. The chip also features a downgraded APU in the form of the APU 2.0, which provides up to 2.4 TOPS. The five-core variant of the Mali-G57 is used here as well, although the company didn’t specify whether there are any clock speed differences between the MT8195’s GPU and the MT8192. 2133MHz LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage are supported—both standards that are growing long in the tooth already.
The MT8192 supports WQHD displays with 60Hz refresh rate or Full HD+ displays with up to 120Hz high refresh rate. The chip can support two Full HD displays simultaneously.
Both the MT8195 and the MT8192 chips integrate 4K HDR video decoding. In addition, they support PCIe Gen 3 and USB 3.2 Gen 1. These standards aren’t the latest-generation as well.
MediaTek states that Chromebooks powered by the MT8192 SoC will arrive in the market in Q2 2021, while the higher-end MT8195 chip will power premium Chromebooks, smart displays, tablets, and other smart devices, which will arrive in the market at a later, unspecified date. For more details on MediaTek’s new Chromebook chips, users can visit the company’s website.