Thu, Dec 13, 2012 - Page 13 News List

MediaTek unveils quad-core smartphone chipset

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s top handset chip designer, yesterday unveiled its first quad-core smartphone chipset to compete with bigger rival Qualcomm Inc.

In a company statement released yesterday, MediaTek said the new chipset, dubbed MT6589, will be used in smartphones that are set to hit the market next quarter.

The Hsinchu-based chipmaker said the MT6589 was the world’s first commercialized quad-core system on a chip using a power-efficient quad-core CoreTex-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM Holdings.

The chipset will be manufactured using 28 nanometer process technology, the statement said.

“As the world’s first quad-core system on a chip, the MT6589 is strong proof of MediaTek’s growing global presence and ambition to drive the democratization of the smartphone and reshape the mid to high-end device market,” Jeffrey Ju (朱尚祖), general manager of the smartphone business unit at MediaTek, said in the statement.

The new chipset is designed for middle and high-end smartphones, the company said.

Qualcomm announced last week that it had added two quad-core chipsets to its Snapdragon S4 family.

Those two processors will be ready for customer sampling by the second quarter of next year, Qualcomm said in a statement. The two new microprocessors will also be made on 28 nanometer technology.

“We believe these two chips [MT658x and MT6589] will help MediaTek gain more share in the brand-name market, while also enabling it to increase its dominance in the white-label market,” SinoPac Securities (永豐金證券) semiconductor analyst Stefan Chang said in a recent report.

Chang expected MediaTek to seize between 50 and 60 percent of China’s smartphone chip market next year, duplicating its success in the feature phone segment. That implied MediaTek’s smartphone shipment would more than double next year from 110 million units this year, Chang said in the report.

“The demand for a Smartphone system on a chip that can be delivered anywhere in the world has never been greater, which is why the MT6589 is so important to our business,” TCL Communications Holdings Ltd chief of operations Wang Ji-Yang (王激揚) said in the statement released by MediaTek.

MediaTek expected the quad-core chipset to account for 30 percent of its total smartphone chipset shipments next year, Ju said.

In addition to the quad-core chipset, the chipmaker said that 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) chipsets would be another focal point. MediaTek said in October that it was scheduled to ramp up production of LTE chipsets at the end of next year.

MediaTek shares rallied 5.75 percent to NT$340.5 yesterday, out-performing the TAIEX, which rose 1 percent.

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