MediaTek’s 5G SoC is a groundbreaking, integrated 5G chip for smartphones

mediatek 5g plans office
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

During Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, MediaTek demonstrated its M70 5G modem and showed it connecting to a Nokia base station at 4.7Gbps. Now, the company has announced the M70 modem will be integrated into a brand-new, world first 5G system-on-a-chip (SoC). It’s called, rather generically, the MediaTek 5G SoC, and it’s considerably more groundbreaking that its name suggests.

It’s the world’s first integrated 5G chip, built on the 7nm process, that’s ready to connect your smartphone to Sub-6 5G signals. That means no separate 5G modems split off from the CPU, and because it’s built using a 7nm process, it dissipates heat more effectively, meaning improved energy management for higher performance. This will be particularly noticeable when using artificial intelligence and features reliant on the GPU, says MediaTek.

The A.I. inside MediaTek’s 5G SoC is driven by the third-generation APU, or A.I. Processing Unit, which surpasses version two integrated into the Helio P90 processor. MediaTek’s A.I. efforts may not have captured headlines in the way Huawei’s NPU has, but it’s similarly impressive in the way that it deals with onboard A.I. processing, and MediaTek promises version three will provide, “substantially higher performance than before.” MediaTek is also proud to be the first to build a chip on ARM’s latest Cortex A77 — which is specifically designed for 5G applications — complete with the new Mali A77 GPU.

mediatek 5g soc news

On the photographic side, the 5G SoC supports cameras with up to 80 megapixels, and this could mean multiple sensors too — a 48-megapixel sensor, a 20-megapixel sensor, and a 12-megapixel sensor for example. For video, it supports 4K resolution recordings at 60 fps. MediaTek recognizes it needed more than just 5G to attract manufacturers to use the new chip, which is why it has boosted A.I. ability, used the ARM Cortex A77, and supports a strong camera array.

Premium 5G experience

For a while, MediaTek has concentrated on devices that fall into its, “new premium” category of high performing, midrange devices. However, this did not stop questions about its true premium efforts. The 5G SoC is its answer, and MediaTek’s Senior Director Russ Mestechkin said the chip and its A.I. is, “No compromise, best in class, and superior to the competition.”

What MediaTek’s new 5G won’t do is support mmWave 5G connections. It’s focused on Sub-6 connections, which will be behind the majority of 5G devices launching in China, and is also supported by T-Mobile and Sprint in the U.S. MediaTek is closely watching the situation regarding the merger between these two companies. In February, Qualcomm announced the world’s first integrated 5G SoC that can connect to both mmWave and Sub-6 5G signals.

MediaTek expects to start sending samples of the 5G SoC to its partners before the end of 2019, ready for the first devices powered by the chip to launch during the first three months of 2020. Next year demand for 5G phones at all price points will accelerate beyond the early adopter, high price phase in 2019, and we’ve no reason to doubt that even with a true premium spec, MediaTek’s 5G SoC will be prohibitively priced, allowing more manufacturers to make desirable 5G smartphones that deliver 5G speeds without compromise.

Mobile

Speed is everything: Using 5G in the U.K. on the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

You can buy a 5G phone and connect to a 5G network in the UK right now; but what's it like when you do? Armed with a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and a 5G SIM on the EE network, we've been walking the streets of London to find out.
Mobile

The LG V50 ThinQ will be available from Verizon starting on June 20

LG has a habit of releasing too many phones. Following on the heels of the V40 ThinQ, the company has now unveiled the LG V50 ThinQ. There's 5G support, as well as an accessory that turns it into a foldable phone.
Mobile

Apple will bring 5G to the iPhone in 2020, according to analyst

We're still many months away from the launch of a 2019 iPhone, so do we know anything at all about the 2020 iPhone? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and the rumors are picking up the pace.
Android

You can pre-order the Galaxy S10 5G from Sprint starting today

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it's the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 13 Beta 2 is available to developers -- here are the changes

Apple announced iOS 13 during the keynote presentation at its 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference. This is the next version of its mobile operating system, which will come to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod near you soon.
Social Media

Maybe you missed something, so here's how to take another look at that Snap

The people you follow on Snapchat are important to you. If you get frustrated when you're trying to look at a friend's Snap or Story and it disappears, here's how to replay a Snapchat message or post.
Mobile

The stand-alone Palm is now available, but you don’t really need it

Palm, the reinvented company carrying the name of the brand we all know, has released a stand-alone version of its tiny phone. That means you don't need another phone to use it with, and you don't need to pay for another data plan.
Mobile

HMD Global is moving all Nokia user data to Finland to better protect it

HMD Global announced that in an effort to protect user data, it will be moving installation data and performance data to a Google Cloud data center in Hamina, Finland. According to Nokia, the move will allow it to better leverage data…
Mobile

Scam robocalls to hospitals could lead to a major health hazard

Robocalls can be an annoying waste of your time, but that can be a matter of life or death to a hospital. Scam robocalls are bombarding U.S. hospitals, with some centers losing hours of productivity as a result.
Mobile

Leaked Pixel 4 display sizes could mean smaller bezels on Google's new phone

Rumors abound about the Google Pixel 4, Google's next Pixel phone following the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a. Getting around the leaks, Google straight-up teased an image of the back of the phone. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

The best Google Pixel 2 XL cases and covers for protection and style

If you want to protect that 6-inch screen and aluminum body, it’s time to shop for the best Google Pixel 2 XL cases and covers. We've rounded up our top picks so far to style and protect your Google phone.
Mobile

Nomad’s new Kevlar cables are seriously tough and seriously fast

Nomad has just released an update to its super-tough Kevlar range of cables to include a new USB-C to Lightning cable and a blisteringly fast 100W USB-C cable. They're expensive, but they're the toughest cables you'll find.
Mobile

Rumors say Sony is making an Xperia phone with a six-lens rear camera

How many camera lenses is too many? In the current market, we've seen phones with one, two, three, and even five lenses -- and now rumors are currently saying Sony is planning an Xperia smartphone with six lenses.
Mobile

Your smartphone knows all your secrets. Put it on lockdown with these tips

Having your smartphone hacked can feel like someone robbed your house. It's a massive invasion of privacy and a violation of your personal space. We've put together a checklist of precautions that will help you avoid this terrible fate.