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We might see a flagship processor without little cores later this year

The Dimensity 9300 is tipped to offer four (!) Cortex-X4 cores and four Cortex-A720 cores, but no little cores.

Published onMay 30, 2023

Mediatek Dimensity 9200 back
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • A MediaTek Dimensity 9300 leak points to a radically different CPU.
  • The chipset will apparently feature four Cortex-X4 cores and four Cortex-A720 cores.
  • The processor will apparently consume 50% less power than its predecessor.

MediaTek confirmed yesterday that its next-generation flagship phone processor (presumably called the Dimensity 9300) would use Arm’s brand-new Cortex-X4 and Cortex-A720 CPU cores along with the Immortalis Mali-G720 GPU. The company didn’t mention the new Cortex-A520 little CPU core, and it turns out there might be a good reason for that.

Long-time leaker Digital Chat Station has claimed on Weibo that the Dimensity 9300 won’t use little CPU cores at all. Instead, the tipster asserts that the chipset will have an octacore CPU consisting of four Cortex-X4 cores and four Cortex-A720 cores.

Furthermore, the leaker says power consumption has been reduced by 50% compared to the Dimensity 9200 series.

A huge departure from current mobile SoCs

This would be a massive change for MediaTek and smartphone processors at large, as pretty much all multi-core mobile chips have shipped with little CPU cores. These cores are designed with maximum efficiency in mind, taking the load off the medium and big cores for less demanding workloads. So we’re intrigued to see how the Dimensity 9300 could make these apparent major efficiency gains without tiny cores.

This purported CPU setup would also be a big deal owing to the use of four big Cortex-X CPU cores. We typically only see one Cortex-X core in flagship processors from the likes of MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Samsung owing to heating and size concerns.

Google’s Tensor chips do, however, utilize two older Cortex-X cores. The company previously asserted that this approach was more efficient for some medium workloads (e.g. using the camera app). So it’s possible MediaTek has learned from this approach for the Dimensity 9300 if this latest rumor is indeed true.

Either way, we’re keen to see how this new chipset fares against the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Expect both processors to launch in late 2023, with the first phones presumably landing in global markets in Q1 2024.

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