MediaTek has been putting increasing pressure on the mobile SoC market leaders lately, and newly leaked details about a high-end Helio X20 SoC could point to the company’s biggest challenger yet. According to the leak, MediaTek is working on a Helio X20 SoC that will feature 10 CPU cores.
The ‘deca-core’ design is arranged in a tri-cluster big.LITTLE setup. There are two high performance, more efficient Cortex-A72 cores clocked at around 2.4GHz combined with eight low power Cortex A53 cores configured in two further parts. The eight A53s are split up into four clocked at 2GHz and four clocked at just 1.4GHz, each of which can presumably be allocated tasks for the best energy efficiency.
You wouldn’t usually associate a deca-core CPU design with mobile, but the SoC also features a new ARM Malit-T800 MP4 GPU clocked at 700MHz, supports displays up to 2560×1600, Cat-6 LTE connectivity and integrated Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. There is also mention of 4K video hardware decode, slow-motion video capture and support for dual-ISP 25MP camera configurations, leaving no doubt that this SoC is designed for mobile applications.
The leaked specification sheet pits the MediaTek Helio X20 directly against Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 810 SoC and you’ll see that the two are quite evenly matched in a number of capabilities. The only area noticeably lacking for the MediaTek chip is support for dual-channel 933MHz LP-DDR3 memory, which falls behind the 1600MHz LP-DDR4 standard being adopting by other leading mobile SoC manufacturers.
If you’re going to throw 10 CPU cores at a chip, a big.LITTLE arrangement certainly makes sense, but there are a few questions to be asked about silicon expense and the heat generated by the unconfirmed design. The latter may be particularly important, given the recent Snapdragon 810 reports.
We’ll have to wait for some official details before drawing any final conclusions, but a 10 CPU core chip design for mobile is certainly interesting. MediaTek previously announced its new octa-core Helio X10 back in March.