MediaTek unveils the Dimensity 820, a 5G SoC for upper mid-range smartphones
Today, Taiwanese chipset maker MediaTek expanded its upper mid-range SoC lineup with the launch of MediaTek Dimensity 820. The Dimensity 820 succeeds the Dimensity 800 which the company unveiled earlier this year at CES 2020 (however it hasn’t appeared on a commercial phone yet) and slots in between the flagship Dimensity 1000 series and the gaming-focused Helio G90 series. The new chipset brings along faster CPU and GPU performance, support for 120Hz panels, and an improved ISP.
The Dimensity 820 is built on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process and uses the same CPU microarchitecture as the previous SoC, employing eight ARM cores in a big.LITTLE arrangement. MediaTek was rather conservative about setting the clock speed of performance cores on the Dimensity 800 — especially considering the power efficiency of the 7nm process node. The company is targeting much higher frequency this time around with all four ARM Cortex-A76 performance cores clocked at 2.6GHz, up from 2.0GHz clock speed on the Dimensity 800. MediaTek isn’t detailing whether this boost comes at the cost of efficiency but this jump does give the chipset an edge over the Snapdragon 765G in terms of raw CPU power. What hasn’t changed are the four ARM Cortex-A55 efficiency cores which run at the same 2.0GHz frequency.
|SoC||Dimensity 800||Dimensity 820||Snapdragon 765G|
|CPU||4x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 2.0GHz|
4x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2.0GHz
|4x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz|
4x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2.0GHz
|1x Kryo 475 (ARM Cortex-A76-based) Prime core @ 2.4GHz|
1x Kryo 475 (ARM Cortex-A76-based) Performance core @ 2.2GHz
6x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz
|GPU||ARM Mali G57 (4x cores)||ARM Mali G57 (5x cores)||Adreno 620|
H.264, H.265 (HEVC), VP-9
|H.264, H.265 (HEVC), VP-9||H.264, H.265 (HEVC), VP9|
|Fabrication process||TSMC 7nm||TSMC 7nm||Samsung 7nm|
On the GPU side, the Dimensity 820 utilizes a 5 core variant of the ARM Mali-G57 GPU, a minor bump over the 4 core variant of the Dimensity 800. For an improved gaming experience, MediaTek’s HyerEngine 2.0 is also on board which provides a range of software-based enhancements for better graphics performance including intelligent allocation of CPU, GPU and memory, network latency optimizations, call and data concurrency, enhanced HDR visuals and more.
Another area where the new chipset brings a notable upgrade is the support for high refresh rate panels. While the Dimensity 800 supported high refresh panels, it could only handle FHD+ displays at a 90Hz refresh rate. Dimensity 820, on the other hand, supports driving FHD+ displays at up to 120Hz refresh rates. Moreover, the SoC also supports MiraVision display enhancement technology that offers OEMs to implement various software-based features to improve the viewing experience. These enhancements include the ability to upscale low-res content to Full HD, HDR10 Remapping, blue light filter, and brightness dimmer for better nighttime reading experience and ClearMotion feature that automatically converts standard 24/30fps content to 60 or 120fps on supported displays.
The Image Signal Processor (ISP), which MediaTek calls Imagiq 5.0, also sees an upgrade with the chipset now supporting up to 80MP camera sensors, up from 64MP camera support on the Dimensity 800, and four concurrent cameras. The Imagiq 5.0 also promises Action Camera-grade Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), multi-frame 4K HDR video recording, real-time video bokeh, and improved noise reduction.
Just like other SoCs in the Dimensity portfolio, the MediaTek Dimensity 820 also features an integrated 5G modem with support for both Standalone (SA) and Non-standalone (NSA) Sub-6GHz networks. The modem supports 5G Carrier Aggregation, dual SIM standby, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), and Voice Over New Radio (VoNR) on both SIMs.