MediaTek's Helio X30 high-end chipset will be built on TSMC's 10nm process


A Chinese report claims that chip maker MediaTek will partner up with silicon fab TSMC to build two mobile chipsets on the latter's 10nm process. Said chipsets are the Helio X30 (MediaTek's high-end offering), and the Helio X35 (the more economical one).

Reportedly, the 10nm X30 and X35 series chipsets will enter volume production between the end of 2016 and early 2017. Interim, MediaTek is considering building another branch of 10nm SoCs, made for upper mid-range devices. The company is also said to be among the first group of TSMC customers (such as Apple) making use of the 10nm fabrication process.

The Helio X30 features quite the CPU design. The application processor has no less than ten cores, with the heavy lifting handled by two Cortex-A73 cores with a max speed of 2.8GHz. Four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 2.2GHz are playing backup, while four low-power Cortex A35 cores with max speeds of 2GHz are used for non-demanding, everyday usage tasks. The SoC supports up to 8GB of RAM and is bundled with a quad-core PowerVR graphics unit. The unit is supposed to be able to handle Google's Daydream VR experience platform as well.

All in all, MediaTek is trying to come up with a high-end offering to rival Qualcomm and Samsung's domineering Snapdragon and Exynos chipsets. Chinese smartphone manufacturers are particularly enthusiastic towards low-cost alternatives to these SoCs, as it lets them offer competitive performance at the country's characteristically aggressive prices.

source: Digitimes

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27 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Cortex-A73 at 2.8GHz! Wow, it will leave the A10 in the dust.

2. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

MT been rising ..and crawling slowly.. one day it'll really bite hard and QC might be left n the dust.. in terms of preference by Oems.. that day might be 2017.. henceforth...

3. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I don't think so, maybe it will just match it, A10 still an absolute beast.

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It's the GPU(at this point anyway because everyone seems to always have powerful CPUs) that really matters and the OS so even if the CPUs are more powerfull than the A10's whatever phone has the X30 will still be slower and inferior to the iPhone 7's performance hell probably even the 6s. I could be wrong because I can't predict the future but that doesn't mean I can't get damn close by looking at the past.

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO storage is the biggest bottleneck now days GPU limitations generally only show when gaming I'm hoping the 2017 Android flagships use dual lane UFS 2.0 or NVMe and have proper hardware accelerated encryption Also that quad cluster PowerVR GPU should perform similar to the iPhone 6S So the gap wont be as bad as on the X20/X25 vs the 820/8890

11. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Current UFS 2.0 is faster than Apple's NVMe at random IO operations. Dual-lane will do even better.

13. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

True, but sequential operations are still highly important e.g. why app opening is still faster on the 6S vs Exynos Note7 And the gap in sequential operations is bigger at the moment I want dual lane UFS, which could be faster in both sequential and random IO

14. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Sequential ops are just as important as random ops which is the bulk of read and write and which is what mostly occurs on a smartphone.

16. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

To clairify my point: Random IO is the bulk of read and write and it's what mostly occurs in overall smartphone usage.

20. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

What is single lane and dual lane?

25. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

single lane means 1x HS Gear 3, theoretically allowing speeds of 600MB/s dual lane means 2x HS Gear 3, theoretically allowing speeds of 1200MB/s But NAND speed is still a problem Android OEMs are using cheaper NAND, which is why we aren't even close to the 600MB/s limit yet

23. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Storage speed is the last thing I care about lol, and yeah it should be similar, if they actually use a powerful GPU.

17. Chidoro

Posts: 168; Member since: Sep 20, 2016

I will assume (hope) you are being facetious

18. techlover2017

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 22, 2016

No soc can leave A10 in dust for next 8 months or a year may be ,thats for sure.

19. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Highly unlikely even Mediatek can harvest its full potential. Somehow Mediatek managed to do run 2.5GHz A72s not much faster than Qualcomm's 1.8GHz ones. 2.5GHz A72 of Kirin 955 doesn't perform much better too than 1.8GHz A72 of Snapdragon 650/652 despite superior 16nm FinFET process. IMO at best scenario 2.8GHz A73 will be far behind single core performance of A10, but it can match with the Samsung's new core more or less assuming there is one, and will leave overclocked Kryo of the SD830 in the dust judging by Geekbench 4. Also Mediatek will do its trick again. X30 will be crippled model and X35 will be what we are thinking of X30.

21. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Don't think so...A73 is narrow core compared to A72...ARM did this to avoid throttling. And now MT is pushing max frequency to a level that can't be sustained for anything other than short bursts. I don't know why...but I just dislike this 10 core cpu concept. Anything more than 4 cores is unnecessary and showoff. MT should just work on optimizations if they have more money and spare time.

24. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

ARM designed the A73 to run at 2.8GHz while sustaining close to peak performancehttps://community.arm.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/38-6260-80766/Cortex-A73+Maximizes+performance.jpg Personally, I dont mind 10+ cores, as long only 2-4 cores are for performance and the rest are for better efficiency

26. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I won't (completely) trust slideshow made by ARM's marketing team...hope Anandtech does detailed review of X30.

27. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Of course, always look for third party reviews I'm just that ARM designed the A73 that way MT isn't pushing max frequency any higher than ARM designed

4. Tsrnexus

Posts: 43; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

They will be formidable once they are able to fix their gpu.

6. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Well at least on the gpu side it will be very efficient.

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Why? We dont have the full details of the GPU yet The rumors are quad cluster PowerVR GPU, nothing about the clocks IMO they will still have high clocks since the GPU is still less wide compared to the iPhone's 6 clusters So I dont expect the GPU to be much more efficient But I reckon it should perform similar to the iPhone 6S So the gap wont be as bad as on the X20/X25 vs the 820/8890

9. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Given the history of Mediatek on GPUs it wont be that good for 2017. If it perfoms as iPhone 6s then it will be much efficient than it cause of 10nm process.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The iPhone 6S has a 16/14nm 6 cluster Series7XT with low clocks (400-500MHz? I cant remember) The X30 is rumor to have a 10nm 4 cluster Series7XT or 4 cluster Series7XT Plus I reckon it will have higher clocks, maybe around 700MHz That should allow it to match the A9's GPU (maybe more) But that also means it wont be as efficient as the A9's GPU, due to the higher clocks Like the Kirin 950 (2016) vs Exynos 7420 (2015) The 16FF+ Kirin 950 has a T880 MP4 (4 shader cores) at 800MHz The 14LPE Exynos 7420 has a T760 MP8 (8 shader cores) at 700MHz Despite the Kirin 950 having a newer microarchitecture and being built on a newer and more efficient process, the GPUs about the same in terms of efficiencyhttp://www.anandtech.com/show/9878/the-huawei-mate-8-review/5 Unless if its PowerVR Series8XT with major microarchitecture changes But I doubt PowerVR Series8XT will be in actual products until at least Q2, if not Q3

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Edit: As PowerVR Series8XT should be released at CES 2017 (at least that's what Imagination has been doing for the past several years)

15. PhoneFix

Posts: 81; Member since: Aug 30, 2016

So see ya helio x30/35 in 2020.. As helio x20 is 2 or 3 years old? And no phone has it? ;DDD

22. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Well there are plenty of phones...but I won't buy anything with MT chip inside. http://thedroidreview.com/top-chinese-smartphones-with-mediateks-helio-x20-soc-to-look-out-for-in-q1-2016-6385

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