MediaTek Inc (聯發科), which counts Lenovo Group (聯想) and China Mobile Ltd (中國移動) as its customers, yesterday launched its MediaTek Labs program to speed up development of applications for wearable devices and the Internet of Things.
The new program is intended to help hardware and application developers create new products by running the Linkit operating system, powered by MediaTek’s Aster processor, and especially designed for tiny wearable and Internet of Things devices. Aster is the world’s smallest wearable chip measuring 5.4mm by 6.2mm.
“MediaTek is good at providing reference design. We believe MediaTek’s Aster chip and its software can help global wearable and Internet of Things developers and partners to develop new products faster,” company president Hsieh Ching-jiang (謝清江) said at the annual Computex trade show.
MediaTek yesterday opened its product showroom to the public.
JC Hsu (徐敬全), general manager of MediaTek’s new business development unit, said that the new platform is a semi-turnkey, which would allow developers to create their products easily.
Customers are using MediaTek’s new chip and system in developing a wide range of wearable devices, including smartwatches, GPS trackers, or medical and sports monitors, which can be connected to all kinds of smartphones, Hsu said.
MediaTek is scheduled to start shipments of its first Aster processors next quarter. The chipmaker said more than 10 customers are designing their wearable products using its Aster chips and that number was expected to grow several times.
Most wearable devices or Web-enabled products would be shipped to China, MediaTek chief financial officer David Ku (顧大為) said.
Ku said revenue contribution from the new wearable and Internet of Things chips will be minimal this year, but could post a single-digit percentage growth next quarter. MediaTek made NT$136.06 billion (US$4.52 billion) in revenue last year, up 37.1 percent annually.
Hsieh said yesterday that handset inventory in China appeared to be at normal levels and chip supply was tight.
He expected supply constraints to extend into the next quarter when seasonal demand picks up.
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