MWC 2015 | MediaTek unveils MT6753 and MT8173 SoCs and announces CrossMount platform
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MediaTek is expanding its market presence, but doesn't consider new SoCs alone sufficient for reaching their goals. The company did present two new processors during MWC but a far more interesting innovation is its new CrossMount platform. It's based on the widespread UPnP (Universal Plug & Play) standard and used Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct as communication media. The company claims that CrossMount will introduce many new innovative ways for electronics interaction and resource sharing: for example, one could use a smartphone's camera and microphone for a video conference displayed on a TV screen or output the TV's audio to the phone so headphones can be used for late-night movie sessions.
Of course, there will be many other applications - ideally, any hardware component, software or content could be exposed to other devices for interaction and resource sharing. MediaTek also deserves to be commended for sticking with widely used standards instead of creating new proprietary ones - it should accelerate CrossMount's adoption rate considerably, especially considering that no cloud servers are required to facilitate its functionality.
Meanwhile, the company isn't willing to back down on the proven mobile SoC market either, and introduces two new 64-bit chips to keep up with the growing demand for ARMv8 based platforms. The first SoC, MT8173, integrates two Cortex-A72 and two Cortex-A53 processor cores in a big.LITTLE design. It's capable of running at a frequency up to 2.4 GHz and, according to MediaTek, reaches 6 times the performance of the MT8137 (introduced in 2013). Graphics are handled by Imagination Technologies' PowerVR GX6250 (Series6XT) GPU which supports OpenCL and OpenGL ES 3.1. Other features of the SoC include Miracast, support for camera sensors up to 20 MP, HDCP 2.2 for 4K TVs and hardware-accelerated playback of H.264, HEVC (10-bit) and VP9 video codecs. Displays with up to WQXGA (2500x1600 pixels) resolution are compatible. This SoC is intended primarily for use in tablets.
For smartphones, MediaTek now offers a Cortex-A53 octa-core (up to 1.5 GHz) called MT6753. Mali-T720 is the integrated graphics solution, limited to 1080p/30fps video playback (up to H.265 codec) and 1080p/60fps displays. Cameras up to 16 MP are compatible. LTE support is present but only Cat. 4. Therefore this SoC is sufficient for most mid-range smartphones, first of which are expected (according to MediaTek) in the 2nd quarter of 2015.
MediaTek is also looking to invest money into promising startups, for which it opened a new division called MediaTek Ventures. It will invest up to $300 million in promising startups located in Europe, North America, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan which are working in the fields of semiconductor systems, Internet infrastructure, IT services and, of course, the Internet of Things (IoT).
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