Previous rumors floating around suggested a new 8-core SoC inbound from Taiwanese SoC vendor MediaTek. The company just officially announced it this Sunday morning!
MediaTek is renowned for periodically refreshing their SoC offerings several times a year, it seems that they’re now ready to step into the uncharted territory with a full blown 8-core SoC. Samsung had already stolen the show with their current Exynos 5410 SoC used in the international Galaxy S4 (GT-I9500) but the later features a broken CCI-400 coherent bus that essentially prevented the usage of big.LITTLE GTS (ability to use all cores), the silicon defect was however addressed in their newer Exynos 5420 “Evolved” which will go into mass production this August.
MidiaTek may have been targeting the high end segment with their midrange SoCs but it nevertheless managed to secure some marketshare in China where almost every cheap Android handset is powered by their silicon. The company has yet to release technical specs for its octo-core chip, and it’s unclear if it uses a new computing architecture or ARM’s big.LITTLE refernece designs but we’ll very likely see 8 Cortex-A7 cores shall they opt for the traditional approach instead of adopting big.LITTLE which packs 4 Cortex-A7 & A15.
MediaTek claims to bring a whole lot of performance improvements according to the marketing paper. This includes smoother interfaces, smoother web browsing, smoother gaming, and better video playback. One can only guess if they simply used a newer PowerVR GPU (Rogue 6 series?) or added more cores to their existing GPU implementation.
It might be a good marketing approach for MediaTek to highlight the eight cores, but it sounds gimmicky since we don’t see much benefit it will bring to the handset considering that most Android applications out there aren’t optimized to harness the power of multiple cores, we have yet to see any App using multithreading.
Sample MediaTek SoCs have already been sent to manufacturers but mass production is slated for Q4 more specifically in November. Meaning that, if Samsung plays its cards right, it could swoop in and get the coveted “first” title once more.