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MediaTek MT9638 AI chip will power the next generation of 4K smart TVs

MediaTek MT9638 AI chip will power the next generation of 4K smart TVs (Source: MediaTek)
MediaTek MT9638 AI chip will power the next generation of 4K smart TVs (Source: MediaTek)
The first television sets with the new MediaTek SoC are expected to become available by the second quarter of this year. MediaTek already powers most smart speakers and smart home products unbeknownst to most users.
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MediaTek has unveiled its latest chip today designed for upcoming 4K smart televisions. Called the MT9638, the processor will integrate AI hardware to boost the performance of everyday smart TV functions like super resolution, picture quality, voice assistance, VRR, and more. Automatic real-time display adjustments can dynamically change to reduce noise or upscale the resolution depending on what is playing onscreen. The enhancements will ultimately create a more seamless user experience.

Outside of AI, the MT9638 will also integrate Wi-Fi 6, HDR10+ support, HDMI 2.1a, and both Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual X audio support.

MediaTek says it has shipped over two billion of its TV chips globally meaning there's a pretty good chance that the TV in your living room is powered by a MediaTek processor. Like most smart home gadgets, most companies do not advertise what processors are inside to the detriment of MediaTek as it downplays "MediaTek" as a recognizable household brand.

  • ARM Cortex-A55 CPU w/ Mali-G52 GPU
  • 4K60 resolution support w/ HEVC, VP9, AV1 decoding
  • HDR10+ w/ local dimming over 2000 zones
  • HDMI 2.1a, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi 6 integration
  • Support for up to four far-field microphones

HSINCHU, Taiwan – March 3, 2021 – MediaTek today announced its new 4K smart TV chip, the MT9638, 

with an integrated high-performance AI processing unit (APU). MT9638 supports cutting-edge AI-

enhancement technologies such as AI super resolution, AI picture quality and AI voice assistants, plus 

variable refresh rate (VRR) and MEMC (motion estimation and motion compensation) so graphics 

appear smoother. With its high performance processing for optimized visual quality, MT9638 gives 

global TV makers premium features to design competitive 4K smart TVs. 

“As smart home appliances become more intelligent and diversified, smart TVs are becoming the new 

hub for the smart home as consumers take advantage of AI-enabled multimedia features to control all 

their devices right from their TV,” said Alex Chen, General Manager of the TV Business Unit at MediaTek. 

“The new MT9638 continues our legacy as the No. 1 chip provider of smart TVs, bringing consumers 

incredible AI, multimedia, gaming and entertainment experiences in theater-quality 4K.” 

MediaTek’s premium TV chip technologies are designed to enhance the user experience with our 

custom APU that brings high-performance AI computing to smart TVs. With built-in AI picture quality 

technology, the chip enables real-time content and scene recognition, automatically adjusting color 

saturation, brightness, sharpness, dynamic motion compensation and smart noise reduction to improve 

overall image quality. MediaTek’s AI super resolution technology, combined with the company’s MEMC 

technology, intelligently upscales resolution through multi-frame blending to deliver clearer images at 

the smart TV’s native resolution.     

The chip supports the latest connectivity technologies including Wi-Fi 6 for fast, reliable connectivity and 

HDMI 2.1, which integrates support for VRR to match movies or console gaming frame-rates in order to 

avoid screen tearing. The MT9638 also supports applications powered by AI voice recognition and AI-

enabled video calls, opening up new ways for consumers to interact with their smart TV and connect 

with their family and friends. These technologies are turning living rooms into true home entertainment 

centers, delivering new, immersive experiences in streaming, gaming and entertainment. 

MediaTek’s MT9638 supports multiple advanced technologies: 

  A multi-core Arm Cortex-A55 CPU, Arm Mali-G52 GPU and dedicated MediaTek APU integrated 

into a single chip, delivering superior performance while also being extremely power efficient.   

  Up to 4K60 resolution support with a multimedia decoding engine for HEVC, VP9 and the latest 

AV1 content. 

  HDR10+ display support, enabling full array backlight local dimming with >2000 zones. 

  Premium Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual X surround sound support. 

  The latest HDMI 2.1a and USB 3.0 interfaces, in addition to gigabit-class Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.  

  With up to four far-field microphones, the chip provides whole room coverage for voice 

assistants with ultra-low power consumption (0.5W) on standby and ultra-fast, one second 

resume for wake-up words. 

MediaTek has shipped more than two billion units of its TV chips globally, powering products from entry 

level to flagship with comprehensive solutions that meet global TV specifications. Providing world-class 

entertainment solutions for more than 20 years, MediaTek is a trusted partner for all leading global TV 

manufacturers. 

MT9638-powered 4K smart TVs are expected to reach the consumer market in Q2 2021. For more 

product information, please visit: www.mediatek.com/products/digitalTv/mt9638 

### 

About MediaTek Inc. 

MediaTek Incorporated (TWSE: 2454) is a global fabless semiconductor company that enables nearly             

2 billion connected devices a year. We are a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip 

(SoC) for mobile device, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products. Our dedication to 

innovation has positioned us as a driving market force in several key technology areas, including highly 

power-efficient mobile technologies, automotive solutions and a broad range of advanced multimedia 

products such as smartphones, tablets, digital televisions, 5G, Voice Assistant Devices (VAD) and 

wearables. MediaTek empowers and inspires people to expand their horizons and achieve their goals 

through smart technology, more easily and efficiently than ever before. We work with the brands you 

love to make great technology accessible to everyone, and it drives everything we do. 

Visit www.mediatek.com for more information.

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4701 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > MediaTek MT9638 AI chip will power the next generation of 4K smart TVs
Allen Ngo, 2021-03- 3 (Update: 2021-03- 2)