MediaTek’s new MT9638 chip may power your 2021 smart TV
MediaTek may not be the market leader in the smartphone SoC space, but the Taiwanese company holds the number 1 position when it comes to making chips that power our smart TVs. The company has a wide portfolio of TV chips covering entry-level to flagship smart TVs, with the top-tier S900 (MT9950) with 8K support being the most premium offering from the company.
Today, the company is expanding its chip lineup for premium 4K smart TVs with the launch of the MediaTek MT9638. The new chip comes with an integrated AI processing unit (APU) and has some impressive features including support for variable refresh rate (VRR), motion estimation and motion compensation (MEMC), HDMI 2.1 standard, HDR10+ and more.
“As smart home appliances become more intelligent and diversified, smart TVs are becoming the new hub for the smart home as consumers take advantage of AI-enabled multimedia features to control all their devices right from their TV. The new MT9638 continues our legacy as the No. 1 chip provider of smart TVs, bringing consumers incredible AI, multimedia, gaming, and entertainment experiences in theater-quality 4K.”
The MT9638 uses a multi-core setup of ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores along with ARM Mali-G52MC1 GPU and MediaTek APU. The company didn’t detail the exact number of CPU cores in the press release but the product page confirms it’s a quad-core cluster clocked at up to 1.5GHz. On the display side, support for HDR10+ panels is on-board along with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz and support for HEVC, VP9, and AV1 decoding.
The chipset supports Wi-Fi 6, HDMI 2.1, USB 3.0 standards as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual X surround sound support.
TV manufacturers can take advantage of AI smarts to automatically adjust parameters such as color, saturation, brightness, sharpness, and more to enhance the image quality. Meanwhile, AI super-resolution and MEMC enable OEMs to upscale low-res content to the TV’s native resolution through multi-frame blending.
The chip also boasts enhanced support for voice recognition and virtual assistants and supports up to 4 far-field microphones with ultra-low-power consumption on standby and a one-second resume for hot words.
The MediaTek MT9638 is expected to arrive in 4K smart TVs launching Q2 2021.