Most of the flagship smartphones we write about run on Qualcomm chips, but there’s another key contender that’s vying for your phone’s circuit board real estate: MediaTek.
MediaTek has finally detailed its upcoming flagship Helio X30 system-on-a-chip, destined to feature in the smartphones of 2017. Excitingly, it looks set to be a seriously powerful bit of kit, which bodes well for next year’s smartphone line-up.
One of the headline features is the chip’s support for 8GB of super-fast LPDDR4 RAM. That’s in contrast to Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 820 chip – featured in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and OnePlus 3 – which caps out at 6GB. However, next year’s Snapdragon 830 is also expected to make the leap to 8GB support too.
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It’s not clear whether any smartphone makers will capitalise on the increased RAM support, as the majority of handsets today ship with 4GB or less. But OnePlus rocked the boat last month by launching a phone featuring 6GB of RAM, so all bets are off.
MediaTek also confirmed that the new chip will be built on TSMC’s highly efficient 10nm FinFET architecture. The Snapdragon 820, by comparison, is built on a less efficient 14nm process. It also has support for UFS 2.1 storage (read: very fast), dual-lens camera setups, rising to 26-megapixels, and Cat. 12 LTE.
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The Helio X30 will feature an impressive total of 10 processor cores. Four of those will be powerful Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.8GHz, designed for high-performance burst tasks. Another four of the cores are Cortex A53 clocked at 2.2GHz, which will handle middling jobs. And there are also a further two Cortex A35 cores running at 2GHz. The chip also comes bundled with a PowerVR 7XT quad-core GPU.
The Helio X30 is expected to arrive at some point in 2017, although an exact launch date has not yet been confirmed.
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What new feature would you like to see on your next smartphone? Let us know in the comments.