MediaTek Unveils the new Helio P23 and Helio P30 Mid-Range SoCs with Dual VoLTE/ViLTE Support
The smartphone SoC market runs on a few key players. Together, these handful of SoC makers contribute to the vast majority of Android devices sold across the world, cutting across price segments. So while we do love our performance-oriented flagship SoC platforms, the midrange of the SoC market also deserves its share of love. And MediaTek’s latest contribution with the Helio P23 and Helio P30 brings a refresh to an SoC line that has helped shape Android’s popularity in the low and mid ends of the smartphone product space.
The Helio P23 and Helio P30 are part of MediaTek’s “mid range” P-series lineup — a set of chipsets that forms an integral part of MediaTek’s portfolio. They succeed MediaTek’s Helio P20 and Helio P25 SoC’s, aiming to offer better performance with a new feature set to bridge the gap towards the flagship Helio X-series SoC.
The MediaTek Helio P23 and P30 employ an octa-core Cortex-A53 setup in a dual cluster configuration. The four cores in the performance cluster are clocked at 2.3GHz, while the other four cores in the efficiency cluster are clocked at 1.65GHz. MediaTek is sticking with the tried and tested Cortex-A53, choosing to pass on the benefits from the low power consumption and relative cheap value onto end consumers.
The upgrades to the lineup come to other parts of the SoC. The P23 and P30 take their big upgrade from the bump up in GPU, as they are both powered by ARM’s current generation Mali-G71 GPU based on ARM’s Bifrost GPU architecture, up from the last generation ARM Mali-T880 GPU. The difference between the P23 and P30 start with the GPU clock speed — the P23 GPU is clocked at 770MHz while the P30 GPU is clocked at 950MHz.
The next point of upgrade is in the camera capabilities supported by these SoCs. The P25 jumped on the dual camera craze with support for up to 13MP + 13MP dual cameras or a single 24MP camera, and the new P23 receives the same support treatment. The Helio P30 bumps up the support to 16MP + 16MP dual cameras or a single 25MP camera, and also adds in HEVC video encoding to its support sheet. MediaTek’s mid-range now is well equipped for the dual-camera future, which is the direction that the market seems to be heading.
MediaTek’s Imagiq 2.0 technologies from the Helio X30 are now passed onto the new P-series SoC. This means that MediaTek’s mid-range SoCs now come with support for instant auto exposure, noise reduction technologies and EIS. The P30 also gets MediaTek’s Vision Processing Unit, a 500MHz Tensilica DSP that is used specifically for additional image processing features. The VPU can be utilized to offload some work from the GPU or CPU, but it is traditionally used to power OEM-developed features used in product differentiation.
The P23 and P30 receive an upgrade for their modems, getting a new LTE Cat. 7/13 modem with support for 300Mbps down and 150Mbps up. The new modem also supports T-Mobile USA’s 600MHz LTE bands, improvements in LTE carrier aggregation and High Power UE support for TDD LTE.
Additionally, the new P23 and P30 now support LTE on both the primary and secondary SIMs when in Dual SIM, Dual Standby mode. This means that both SIMs can connect over LTE and provide identical features like VoLTE and ViLTE, whereas previous SoCs restricted the second SIM to 2G/3G. This is a huge development for the target audience for these SoCs, as they primarily come in budget and midrange devices in Asia and other developing countries where dual SIM support forms an important part of the spec sheet. LTE support on the second SIM indicates that MediaTek is confident that the feature’s power consumption liability can be offset by other power-saving features on the SoC as well as the usual trend of devices in this category sporting larger batteries than contemporary flagships. The exact quantum of difference, whether positive or negative, can only be ascertained when the first set of devices with these new SoCs roll out with Dual SIM, Dual Standby support.
The new MediaTek Helio P23 and P30 begin their rollout in Q4 2017. In the beginning, the P30 will remain limited to China, while the P23 gets a global launch. MediaTek mentions that there is global interest in the P23 because of which it is being certified globally. The P30 foresees a more localized demand, but MediaTek is still open to a global launch if the handset makers demand the same.
It is easy to lose ourselves discussing upgrade deltas when judging the improvements brought on by successors. But in doing so, we risk losing sight of the bigger picture. The Helio P-series was never about absolute, core performance; and MediaTek’s latest addition to the family reaffirms this philosophy. SoC performance for the most part has reached levels which are deemed acceptable to the common consumer, so the focus has moved on towards efficiency and bringing other features from flagships down towards the budget end.
What are your thoughts on the MediaTek’s new Helio P23 and Helio P30 SoC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!Source: AnandTech