Skip to main content

MediaTek’s new smartphone chip looks like a beast

MediaTek Dimensity 9300 SoC inside Android phone.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

MediaTek has typically played second fiddle to Qualcomm, at least when it comes to flagship Android phones in the U.S. But that may be set to change if the latest leak about the MediaTek Dimensity 9400 is to be believed. By all appearances, we have a chipset that may be able to compete with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.

The news comes via Weibo from leaker Digital Chat Station and reveals that MediaTek is using TSMC’s second-generation 3nm N3E node, which should result in 34% lower power consumption. The Dimensity 9400 is expected to have MT6991 as its model number and keep the same large core structure as the Dimensity 9300.

You’re looking at a Cortex-X5 performance core at 3.4GHz, with some indication that the frequency will increase when the chipset actually launches. There’s also a 3x Cortex-X4 core and 4x Cortex-A720 core. That would be in line with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, which is expected to hit 4.0GHz on its primary core, compared to the 3.4GHz the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tops out at.

Poster with the MediaTek logo in orange.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The real reason for excitement is that the performance of the Dimensity 9400 has already leaked in Geekbench and AnTuTu benchmarks. On AnTuTu, the 9400 had a 10% higher overall score compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, with a 12% higher CPU score and a 7% higher GPU score. That’s a serious performance upgrade, not just for general day-to-day usage, but also for other tasks. Another leak revealed that the Dimensity 9400 is expected to have an improved neural processing unit (NPU) that can generate Large Language Models and images 20% to 50% faster.

Breaking news out of #MediaTekAnalystDay: the first @MediaTek premium segment smartphone will launch in the US later this year.

— Nirave 尼拉夫 (@nirave) May 2, 2024

Perhaps most interestingly, there’s also confirmation direct from MediaTek that a “premium segment” Android phone will launch in the U.S. later this year and likely come with the MediaTek Dimensity 9400 inside. For context, that’s pretty exceptional in the U.S. market. While MediaTek chips aren’t uncommon in the midrange and budget offerings from Motorola and Samsung, the only high-end chip we’ve seen on an Android device was 2023’s OnePlus Pad, which had a Dimensity 9000.

While it’s still not clear what device this new chip will launch on, speculation includes a new OnePlus foldable based on the Opp Find N3 Flip, which runs a Dimensity 9200, or a new Motorola flagship. A successful launch of a flagship with a MediaTek chipset could finally give Qualcomm some real competition in the top-tier market.

The MediaTek Dimensity 9400 is expected to be available on its first device later this year, but we’ll likely have more leaks before the official launch.

Editors' Recommendations

Ajay Kumar
Freelance Writer, Mobile
Ajay has worked in tech journalism for more than a decade as a reporter, analyst, and editor.
I’m anxious and excited about this bonkers, industry-changing phone chip
The MediaTek Dimensity 9300 processor in a case.

Processors, the chips that power our smartphones, can often be overlooked, remembered only by their catchy name. Provided they work, don’t overheat, and incrementally deliver more power and performance every year, it’s hard to get too excited over them, especially when a lot of the magic happens in the background without us even being aware of it.

So, when one comes along that does something radically different to the crowd, it should make us all sit up and take notice — and that’s exactly what MediaTek has done with the Dimensity 9300.
Big, bigger, biggest

Read more
MediaTek’s new chip just raised the bar for Android phones
MediaTek Dimensity 9300 SoC inside Android phone.

MediaTek is ready to enter the flagship Android phone race and challenge Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 with its latest processor. The Taiwanese company’s latest weapon is the MediaTek Dimensity 9300, which is based on the 4nm process and packs a cluster of four top-tier ARM cores, putting in a position to race ahead via brute performance.
Compared to its direct rival from Qualcomm (which only has one large prime core), the MediaTek chip goes with an even more ambitious core configuration. There are four ARM Cortex-X4 cores, one of which goes up to 3.25 GHz, while the other three are clocked at 2.85 GHz. For less demanding tasks, there’s a cluster of Arm Cortex-A710 cores.
That large core cluster flexes its might on synthetic benchmarks, with MediaTek claiming nearly double the performance on the Geekbench 6 test and an astounding tally of over 213,000 on the AnTuTu platform. On gaming-centric tests such as GFXBench, the company claims an even bigger lead.
The Dimensity 9300 can support screens maxing out at a 180Hz refresh rate, while 4K panels can refresh at up to the 120Hz mark. On the connectivity front, Wi-Fi 7 is part of the package. There’s also a dedicated security chip in place for securely booting the OS.

On the AI-specific innovation front, MediaTek’s latest flagship mobile processor comes with an AI engine that doubles the AI performance at certain metrics while also consuming 45% less energy. Dubbed APU 790, MediaTek claims it is eight times faster than its predecessor and can produce visual media in less than a second using Stable Diffusion’s text-to-image models.
The company has also tweaked the memory architecture and claims that it can run large language models with up to 13 billion parameters, “with scalability up to 33 billion.” For comparison, Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 can only run AI models with up to 10 billion parameters.
Just like its Qualcomm counterpart, MediaTek’s offering also supports mainstream multimodal large language models such as Meta’s Llama 2 and Baidu LLM, among others. But the focus is once again clear. MediaTek is following Qualcomm straight into the race for generative AI tasks covering text, visual media, and audio generation. With another chip company doubling down on AI, this could be even worse news for Google's Pixel phones.
On the graphics front, the Dimensity 9300 relies on the new 12-core Immortalis-G720 GPU, which is said to be 46% faster and 40% more frugal at power consumption. MediaTek is also banking on gaming-centric perks like hardware-accelerated ray tracing that are touted to deliver a 60 frames-per-second (fps) gaming experience with console-grade lighting effects.

Read more
I tried a lifesaving gadget that’s going to transform your phone
A person holding the Motorola Defy.

Emergency satellite messaging through smartphones was a hot topic at the beginning of this year, with Apple, Qualcomm, and MediaTek all talking about their plans for the lifesaving technology. Recently, MediaTek and Bullitt’s solution arrived in the shape of the Motorola Defy dongle, which adds emergency messaging without the need for a cellular connection to any smartphone, regardless of its software or manufacturer.

I had the chance to try it out, and although I thankfully wasn't in imminent danger, I was reassured that I'd be able to call for help if I was.
Satellite communication and smartphones

Read more