Shortly after ARM's launch of the new Cortex-A77 CPU, MediaTek announced a new SoC that will leverage the new CPU cores and be deployed in the next generation of affordable 5G smartphones. MediaTek calls the new SoC, which is produced in 7 nm, therefore simply “5G SoC”.
The 5G SoC is also the first system that integrates the 5G modem into the SoC, eliminating the need for separate chips. MediaTek relies on its own Helio M70 5G modem, which is fully integrated into the 5G SoC. In addition to support for the new 5G cellular standard, the multimode modem also supports the previous 4G, 3G and 2G networks, as Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 does. Also the 5G standard 5G NR (New Radio) in the sub 6 GHz range and a double Carrier Aggregation (CA) is offered. In contrast, mmWave, which is already being offered by mobile operators at the launch of 5G, is not supported, but MediaTek plans to also implement mmWave in its own products next year. MediaTek announces for the Helio M70 modem speeds of up to 4.7 Gbit / s in the downlink and up to 2.5 Gbit / s in the uplink.
Qualcomm does not have 5G SoC yet
With the integration of the 5G modem into the SoC, MediaTek is even ahead of Qualcomm, because the current Snapdragon X50 can only be optionally added to the Snapdragon 855. In addition, it is a pure 5G modem, for 4G, 3G, and 2G, another modem must be installed, which is currently in turn integrated into the Snapdragon 855. Only the Snapdragon X55 combines all these mobile radio standards, but is still designed as an additional chip. Qualcomm's first SoC with integrated 5G modem will be released in 2020.
New ARM CPU and GPU for more power
In the GPU MediaTek also relies on the launch of ARM, the Mali G77 GPU. By choosing the new ARM generation, MediaTek wants to offer even more affordable smartphones a significant increase in performance compared to current models. ARM's cortex A77 cores have a 20 percent increase in performance per clock (IPC) compared to the Cortex-A76. The Mali G77 GPU is even 40 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than the Mali G76 GPU, with machine learning even a performance increase of about 60 percent is promised.
Delivery starts in the 3rd quarter
However, the 5G SoC from MediaTek is not available immediately. The SoC will not be delivered to partners until the third quarter, so that the first smartphones with the new SoC are expected to be released in early 2020.