MediaTek unveils the first ten-core mobile chipset, Helio X20

MediaTek unveils the first ten-core mobile chipset, Helio X20
Pushing the boundaries are we, MediaTek? The up-and-coming chipmaker just made the long-rumored mobile Helio X20 chipset official, in all of its ten-core glory. Yep, you read that right, the speculations were all true, and the X20 boasts ten Cortex cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. 

Well, the way MediaTek achieved this is a bit iffy, as we have two powerful Cortex-A72 units, clocked at 2.5 GHz, then four lowly Cortex-A53 pieces, running at 2 GHz maximums, then a quad pack of Cortex-A53s again, which has been clocked the lowest, at mere 1.4 GHz. MediaTek calls this a tri-cluster approach, but, surprisingly, all this innovation is aimed at the upper midrange phones of the future, as suggested by the inclusion of only two powerful Cortex-A72s.

The system-on-a-chip (SoC) kit also includes MediaTek's integrated LTE Cat. 6 modem, which allows for up to 300Mbps download speeds, if your carrier can provide those, of course, and all main wireless radios, too. The graphics prowess has been relegated to the yet-announced ARM Mali-T800 GPU, which should be just a step below the scorching Mali-T880. 

The tiny fly in the ointment is that Helio X20 supports "only" DDR3 RAM memory, but MediaTek argues that, since the SoC maxes out at Quad HD display support, DDR3 will be plenty. All that jazz is stuffed into the footprint of the current X10, as the X20 is done with the 20nm production process, and yet it offers 40% stronger performance than the X10, at the same time consuming 40% less power. The deca-core Helio X20 will be sampling to customers in H2 2015, which likely means we will see the first handsets or tablets with it for the holidays at the earliest, and most likely in Q1 of next year. Check out the full X20 specs in the slideshow below.

source: Anandtech



29. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

I may remind you that X20 is a midranger SoC. Stop whining and comparing it to flagships..

22. jove39

Posts: 2152; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

ARM's decision of going with synchronous clock has started to bite them now...if ARM could design their cores with asynchronous clock so that each cpu core in cluster can work at clock speed independent of other cores...then there would be no need for multiple cpu clusters...and dare I say heat issues would be much less in comparison as well.

20. Greenlantern

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

anyone know if it can run all ten cores at once?

13. JaneChenLong

Posts: 374; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Hmmmm... 8 A53 CPU - 4@1.4GHz & 4@2.0GHz. + 2 A72 CPU - 2@2.5GHz My question is: Why not do hexacore 4 A53CPU + 2 A72 CPU, and the A53 can run at 2.0GHz (max) and also 1.4GHz. Just like all other CPU now that can have different speed depending on the load factor.

28. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

So they can boast that they have the first 10core mobile processor

31. mieramen

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 06, 2015

And so they can win antutu score lovers.. Again it was made with 3 cluster, so i dont think it should runs 10 core togethers.. But running apss with switch able cluster for high performance, balance and best power efficiency.

10. vuyonc

Posts: 1094; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

LPDDR4 RAM and a FinFET process would sweeten the package. Nevertheless, a decent near high end SoC. Power efficiency and performance should be great with CorePilot 2.0. Next up, a Mediatek SoC with a low power Radeon GPU and mobile HBM RAM (somehow) from AMD.

4. Chuck007

Posts: 1420; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

This will be a winner if it matches the S810 in performance without being a tablet SOC. ;)

7. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

But sadly this chipset will have to compete with SD820, in the Q1 2016. I'm interested how capable their Kryo CPU architecture.

12. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Yeah but i think it would be a weak one since no program could use 10 cores or even detect 10 cores and wasn't SD 820 supposed to come later this year maybe late Q3 or early Q4?

15. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

The SD 820 is expected to sample at H2 2015 Link:​71833-image/phpliq6no-1.jpg So expect it to launch at commercial devices at around Q1 2016.

24. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Well i don't know but it could be on devices even faster but it may be delayed as well.

17. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

This isnt a high end cpu for flagships, its not even competing with the 810. "is aimed at the upper midrange phones". Plus it support DDR3 ram which is so last year tech for high end phones with 810 and the new exynos.

2. TyrionLannister unregistered

I'm interested in the GPU. T800?? How many cores? ?

3. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

It's T-880 MP4 clocked at 700MHz, it could be on par with the T-760 MP6 or Adreno 420 found in the Note 4.

5. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

They're improving, previously their GPUs were 2 years late in terms of performance, now it's just 1 year.

6. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

And yet, they're still behind Qualcomm and Samsung. I will get excited if they make it quad core (two A72 + two A53) paired with Mali-T880 MP8.

9. vergil9

Posts: 517; Member since: Apr 06, 2015

I think they are more focused on numbers to blind the average joe, and performance comes second priority.

21. SmartNingen

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

I feel sorry for you. You will never get excited.

30. MacWiNux

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

i wish someone would make that pair it as well with 4gb ram :

8. TyrionLannister unregistered

It's T800, not 880

11. Guaire

Posts: 898; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

14. TyrionLannister unregistered

That was a rumor. Now it's announced and it's T800. Read the article.

16. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Please check the source. It's still not confirmed, but I believe it's the T880 MP4.

23. TyrionLannister unregistered

I know that. But it can be T860 too.

33. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

It's not T800 either, it's a T8XX (so part of the 800 series). For now it is undisclosed which one. I seriously doubt the T880, may be the T860, but probably something different altoguether.

25. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Anandtech doesn't say it's T880. They mention this as T8?? MP4. Meaning 860 or 880 both possible. Still pretty low when it will compete against upcoming SOCs. BTW, it may win the (irrelevant) Antutu test. Tupical Chinese mentality of showing better SOC.

27. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

It won't be on par with the MP6, let alone the 420

1. ZeeNasir

Posts: 131; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

MediaTek is showing its capabilities. Qualcomm is following. But 10 cores r really needed?

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