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MediaTek opens up its top chip for phone makers to customize

MediaTek has opened up the architecture of its top Dimensity 1200 mobile chip to smartphone companies, allowing them to customize various elements and tune different features to their own preferences. What it means to you is that phones using the Dimensity 1200 can be set up to make best use of a device’s other components, and incorporate a company’s own expertise in areas like artificial intelligence (A.I.).

MediaTek calls the initiative the Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture, and there are five key areas where a smartphone company can tweak the Dimensity 1200 to its own preferences. The camera processing engine is a great example of how it may change future phones. MediaTek has opened the image signal processor (ISP), allowing changes to the visual processing engine, which controls image stabilization, depth mapping, colors, and other aspects of the camera hardware.

This could allow a phone maker’s own engineers to tailor the camera performance to its own preferences, and to tune it according to the hardware. Not all phones use the same camera sensors, few operate in the same way as another, and additional lenses all require careful adjustment to work together. So deeper control over the ISP could make cameras on Dimensity 1200 phones take better photos.

The Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture also allows deeper access to the display processor to tune the screen, ways to improve power efficiency, the potential to add custom Bluetooth profiles for different accessories, and access to the API A.I. processor. MediaTek’s Yenchi Lee, deputy general manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communications Business Unit, summed up how the new initiative could be used:

“Whether it’s novel multimedia features, unmatched performance, brilliant imaging, or more synergy between smartphones and services, with our architecture, device makers can tailor their devices to complement a variety of consumer lifestyles.”

MediaTek expects customized versions of the Dimensity 1200 to be available starting in July of this year. The chip was originally announced in January 2021, and is so far only available in a handful of phones from Realme, Oppo, and Xiaomi that are sold in China and India. Rumors currently link the chip to the unofficial OnePlus Nord 2, which may potentially be available more widely.

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