The first-ever integrated 5G mobile processor is coming soon – and it’s not from Qualcomm

Mediatek has produced the world’s first integrated 5G chip for smartphones, and its entry to the market signals the next chapter in 5G connectivity.

Mediatek has announced the world’s first-ever integrated 5G SoC processor. Samples of the chip will be available to manufacturers before the end of 2019, and we can expect the first devices featuring it to arrive by 2020, report Digital Trends. However, as its still early days of 5G tech, we expect it to be a pricey component.

The processor (unimaginatively called the MediaTek 5G Soc) integrates the MediaTek Helio M70 Modem first seen at MWC 2019, where it clocked connection speeds of 4.7Gbps. It’s also built on a 7nm node similar to those found on high-end smartphones such as the iPhone XS and the Huawei P30 Pro. These factor combined should result in far better energy management than competing 5G smartphones.

Related: 5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy a 5G phone

It looks capable of supporting a fearsome smartphone in other respects too. It supports an 80-megapixel resolution camera, and 4K video recording at 60fps. The ARM Mali-G77 GPU should also support streaming and gaming at high speed.

We expect to see this processor arrive in the next wave of 5G phones in 2020, when the technology is more established and connectivity more widely available. But if you can’t wait that long, here are some the 5G phones we expect to launch this summer, with processors listed for comparison. All of these phones use the Qualcomm X50 modem, which is currently the only 5G-capable modem available.

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (Exynos 9820, 8nm)
  • Huawei Mate 20 X 5G (Kirin 980, 7nm)
  • OnePlus 7 Pro 5G (Snapdragon 855, 7nm)
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G (Snapdragon 845, 10nm)
  • LG V50 ThinQ 5G (Snapdragon 855, 7nm)

Related: 5G Phones

But bear in mind that these smartphones are going to be pricey, and although EE is rolling out 5G on May 30 and Vodafone is rolling out 5G on July 3, connectivity will still be limited to small areas to begin with. We reckon it’s worth waiting a little while longer before you plump for a 5G handset.

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