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Budget MediaTek big.LITTLE chip supposed to be available this year

Industry sources suggest that MediaTek is working on its own cheaper big.LITTLE chip for mid-range handsets, and it's scheduled to be released before the end of 2013.
May 6, 2013
MediaTek chip

I love the idea behind the big.LITTLE architecture; powerful cores for peak processing backup up by less power hungry CPUs for the more simple day to day tasks, it makes perfect sense. But the big.LITTLE architecture has had a few teething problems when it comes to balancing efficiency and performance, and it’s a pretty expensive piece of hardware.  Perhaps someone else needs to step into the ring and broaden the choice for consumers.

Of course we know that Qualcomm and MediaTek aren’t interested in octo-core chips, they said so themselves, but MediaTek does appear to like big.LITTLE, as it’s preparing to release its own chip by the end of the year, at least according to industry sources.

The chip will be called the MT8135 and will again be using Cortex A15 and A7 cores, but in a 2-by-2 rather than a 4-by-4 combination. The chip will supposedly be clocked much slower than Samsung’s version, crawling in at a peak of 1Ghz. However, this does mean that it will be a lot less power hungry than the 1.8Ghz Cortex A15s found in the Samsung Galaxy S4, and it should still be more than powerful enough for a decent smartphone or tablet.

The MT8135 will be much cheaper to manufacture than Samsung’s design, as it uses fewer cores and won’t have to tolerate higher temperatures generated by fast clock speeds. But brute power isn’t everything, and I’m more than happy to see a company pursue energy efficiency over clock-speeds and bumping up the number of cores for once.

Knowing MediaTek, this chip will be targeted at mid range devices, which is certainly a good thing for those looking to upgrade at a reasonable price. Expect to see a few more big.LITTLE chips for all budgets heading our way before the end of the year.