Computex 2019 | 7 nm MediaTek Helio M70 SoC with Cortex-A77 set to arrive on smartphones by Q1 2020
5G is all the rage this year with most major telecommunication companies in the process of upgrading their respective networks for the inevitable 5G-enabled smartphone market. As of this writing, however, only the most advanced (and expensive) smartphones are capable of 5G and the options available are far and few between.
This will all change once MediaTek begins offering 5G-enabled SoCs. The company is well-known for incorporating high-end features onto its mid-range and budget SoCs for ultimately more affordable smartphones. As unveiled at MWC 2019 and then further detailed at Computex 2019, the Helio M70 will be MediaTek's first 7 nm SoC based on the Cortex-A77 architecture to integrate both a 5G modem and a Mali-G77 GPU. ARM Holdings only recently announced the Cortex-A77 architecture which promises support for 4K60 video encoding/decoding and up to an 80 MP camera should such a sensor ever be developed for a consumer smartphone.
An important limitation to keep in mind is that the integrated 5G in the Helio M70 will support sub-6 GHz bands only. Millimeter wave in frequencies greater than 6 GHz will not be supported on the SoC as MediaTek says most carriers have yet to offer such a service in large cities. Once costs come down and the service becomes more common, however, there's no question that MediaTek would eventually develop a new SoC to support the high frequency bands.