Sony may launch cheap quad-core Android smartphones in 2013, testing chips by MediaTek
When it comes to the chips used in today's smartphones, MediaTek isn't the first name that springs to mind. That's because its products are used primarily in low-cost handsets made by lesser-known Chinese companies, while the big boys go with silicon provided by Qualcomm, NVIDIA, ST Ericsson and the likes.
Yet 2013 might be the year for MediaTek to make a name for itself. The company announced that Sony Mobile has requested samples of its MT6589 quad-core SoC. Note that no actual orders have been placed yet, but if Sony finds the chips suitable, it will likely use them in some of the smartphones it is to announce next year. It is pretty safe to assume that a Sony smartphone with a quad-core MediaTek processor would be relatively affordable.
The MediaTek MT6589 is made using a 28nm manufacturing process and uses Cortex A7 processor cores. It can be clocked at up to 1.2GHz and supports LPDDR2 RAM. The PowerVR SGX544 GPU should be capable of handling 720 by 1280 pixel displays. Camera modules of up to 13 megapixels are supported, along with 1080p video recording.
If the deal goes through, MediaTek is expecting to ship around 200 million smartphone chips in 2013. The company notes that it has shipped about 110 million units in 2012.