While some chip makers like Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and TI are known for their high-end processors for mobile devices, other companies like MediaTek are looking at the opposite side of the spectrum. The Taiwanese semiconductor company launched its MT6577 chip, which is meant to go inside budget-friendly smartphones. And by "budget-friendly", we mean sub-$200 handsets that should deliver decent performance thanks to MediaTek's silicon.
The chip seems pretty promising on paper, fusing together two Cortex A9 cores running at 1GHz and a PowerVR Series 5 GPU. This hardware configuration should have enough power to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 720p display, and even shoot 1080p video.
So yeah, two thumbs up for cheap, dual-core Androids! The first smartphones that will use the MT6577 should be out in Q3 of 2012 since the chip is ready to ship to interested manufacturers. Speaking of manufacturers, it will be "MediaTek's leading global customers" using the chip in their devices, which means companies like Gigabyte, ZTE, and the rest of the Asian gang.
+- Press Release
TAIWAN, 27 June 2012 – MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the availability of the MT6577, a dual-core platform developed specifically for sub-$200 smartphones, the fastest growing segment of the global smartphone market. The MediaTek MT6577 features a dual 1GHz Cortex™-A9 application processor from ARM, a PowerVR™ Series5 SGX GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies, MediaTek's proven 3G/HSPA modem, and runs the latest Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system. By integrating a dual-core application processor architecture widely deployed in the majority of today's premium smartphones, the MT6577 boosts application and browser performance by up to 40% compared to single-core platforms, bringing unprecedented levels of user experience to mid- and entry-level smartphones.
"MediaTek's existing HSPA smartphone platforms - the MT6573 and MT6575 - have been extremely well-received by customers and consumers worldwide, and are currently shipping with major international brands such as Lenovo, TCL/Alcatel, and other top tier Chinese OEMs,"said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. "The MT6577 adds the next level of performance and enhanced user experience to the MediaTek smartphone family, delivering enhanced user interactivity, mobile connectivity and rich multi-media experience previously only available on high-end devices. Consumers everywhere will now benefit from the affordable, high-performance devices enabled by the MT6577. MediaTek is proud to be in the vanguard of companies enabling the democratization of smartphones."
"Dual-core processors account for over 20% of current smartphone processor shipments, with these devices being mostly in the premium segment and addressed by standalone application processors. MediaTek's new MT6577, with integrated dual-core processors and 3G/HSPA modem is well suited to bringing similar user experiences to the fast-growing mid and entry smartphone segment which is forecast to grow from under 200 Mu in 2012 to over 500 Mu in 2016" said Stuart Robinson, Director, Handset Component Technologies service at Strategy Analytics.
The MT6577 is designed to deliver rich multimedia experiences, with an 8MP camera, support for up-to high-definition 1080p video playback and the ability to support high-resolution displays up to HD720 (1280x720) resolution. The platform also pre-integrates MediaTek's leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo that provides support for dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM. The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released MT6575, allowing handset manufacturers to easily produce multiple tiers of devices leveraging a single PCBA hardware development effort.
The MT6577 dual-core platform is currently being incorporated into smartphone devices by MediaTek's leading global customers, and the first smartphone models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q3 2012.