Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Qualcomm unfazed by MediaTek’s octa-core chipset

Staff writer, with CNA

US-based Qualcomm Inc, the world’s largest vendor of mobile-phone chips, stressed the significance of its chipset efficiency yesterday in response to rival MediaTek Inc’s (聯發科) recent launch of an octa-core chipset.

“I think the question for us is not about how many cores,” Qualcomm senior vice president Bill Davidson said during a conference call with Taiwanese media when asked to comment on MediaTek’s unveiling of an octa-core long-term evolution (LTE) chipset.

LTE is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.

Davidson said the key factor for Qualcomm is that the company has been investing heavily in its own microarchitecture, for which Qualcomm has a “unique license” from British chip designer ARM Holdings PLC.

However, it is understandable that other chipmakers without their own microarchitecture design will have to add more cores to their products to support various capabilities, Davidson said.

“But we will be different, so we can do things more efficiently in fewer cores,” he said.

Qualcomm’s newest processors have remained quad core. It introduced its Snapdragon 805 LTE processor in November last year to deliver high-quality mobile video, imaging and graphics at ultra-HD 4K resolution.

In December last year, the company launched the Snapdragon 410, its first chipset with 64-bit features typically found in PCs, to target highly affordable 4G LTE smartphones at a sub-US$150 price point.

MediaTek responded on Feb. 11 by unveiling the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone chip, MT6595, which Morgan Stanley said could help the Taiwanese firm lay the groundwork for tapping into China’s 4G market and acquiring new customers in developed markets.

The MT6595 will be commercially available in the first half of this year, with end devices expected in the second half of the year, MediaTek said.

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