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MediaTek Helio G90, G90T revealed: What to expect from its first gaming SoC?

MediaTek has announced its first gaming chipset series, and Xiaomi will offer a phone powered by the processor.

Published onJuly 30, 2019

mediatek helio g90 1

Update, July 30, 2019 (8:08AM ET): Following the MediaTek Helio G90 series launch, Xiaomi has revealed that it will launch a smartphone powered by this chipset family. Xiaomi India chief Manu Kumar Jain said the company will launch a phone powered by the Helio G90T rather than the standard G90.

We don’t know anything else about this upcoming phone, but Xiaomi already offers the Black Shark gaming phones. These phones traditionally retail for $400 or more, offering flagship Qualcomm silicon, so we’d expect a G90-powered gaming handset to have a much lower price tag.

The Helio G90 series offers powerful Cortex-A76 cores, as well as a Mali-G76 GPU (ostensibly a cut-down version of the GPU seen in Samsung and HUAWEI’s flagship processors).

Original article, July 30, 2019 (2:29AM ET): Gaming smartphones have seen a resurgence since the end of 2017, and almost all of these devices have been powered by Snapdragon silicon. Aside from flagship silicon, we’ve also seen the Snapdragon 730G touted by Qualcomm as a gaming-focused chipset.

Now, MediaTek has launched a gaming-focused SoC line of its own in the Helio G90 and G90T. You’ve got some capable CPU and GPU specs on paper, namely an octa-core CPU design featuring two Cortex-A76 and six Cortex-A55 cores, and Arm’s Mali-G76 GPU (3EEMC4) clocked at up to 800Mhz.

Read: MediaTek chip guide — All you need to know about MediaTek processors

Toss in up to 10GB of LPDDR4X RAM at up to 2,133Mhz, as well as a 12nm design, and you’ve got a chipset that looks poised to stand out in the upper mid-range bracket.

MediaTek says it’s also introduced a so-called HyperEngine suite of technologies to improve gaming and performance in general. These technologies include a Networking Engine (intelligently triggering concurrent Wi-Fi and LTE connections when Wi-Fi degrades), the ability to connect to both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi simultaneously, intelligent resource management, a Rapid Response Engine (improving touch input), and a Picture Quality Engine (supporting HDR10).

What else does the Helio G90 offer?

MediaTek Helio G90MediaTek Helio P90
MediaTek Helio G90
2x Cortex-A76
6x Cortex-A55
MediaTek Helio P90
2x Cortex-A75 at 2.2 Ghz
6x Cortex-A55 at 2.0 Ghz
MediaTek Helio G90
Mali-G76 3EEMC4 at 800 MHz
MediaTek Helio P90
IMG PowerVR GM 9446
MediaTek Helio G90
MediaTek Helio P90
APU at 624 Mhz
AI Accelerator
MediaTek Helio G90
24 + 16MP dual
or 64MP single
MediaTek Helio P90
25MP + 16MP dual
or 48MP single
MediaTek Helio G90
Cat-12 LTE
Up to 1Gbps downlink
MediaTek Helio P90
Cat-12 LTE
Up to 1Gbps downlink

The Taiwanese chip designer hasn’t really skimped in other areas either, saying the G90 can hit 1TMACs of AI computing power via the CPU, GPU, and APU. By comparison, the Snapdragon 710’s AI capabilities top out at 614 GMACs according to MediaTek last year. There’s no word if the APU is based on the Helio P60 and P70 or if it’s derived from the upcoming Helio P90.

MediaTek says the Helio G90 also delivers 64MP single, 24MP+16MP dual-camera support, triple or quad camera capabilities, and 240fps video recording. It’s unclear whether the processor supports 64MP snapshots without additional processing (e.g. multi-frame image processing) or if the chipset will indeed support image processing at this resolution. In any event, this puts the company in a good position to support 64MP sensors, such as the Samsung GW-1.

Other specs include Pump Express fast charging, UFS 2.1 storage support (no UFS 3.0 here), Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 5, and 2,520 x 1,080 display support.

MediaTek Helio P65 announced: An overdue CPU upgrade, but what else? (Update)
The MediaTek Helio P65.

The chip designer has confirmed that we can expect devices with the chipset in the fourth quarter of the year. It could well be a great rival to the Snapdragon 730G (which isn’t available in phones just yet either). The firm’s reputation for cheaper devices means we could also potentially see Helio G90 phones coming in at a lower price than Snapdragon 730/730G devices. Would you buy a G90-powered gaming phone? Let us know in the comments!

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