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MediaTek looks to be working on an octo-core processor

MediaTek appears to be working on a new octo-core Cortex A7 based processor, named the MT6592. The chip is set to go into mass production in November this year.
July 3, 2013
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MediaTek seems to be really cranking up its pressure on the high-end processor manufactures, and the news that the company is working on its own eight core processor confirms that MediaTek is just interested in peak performance as much as it is budget technologies.

First news of the octo-core chip came from UDN yesterday, which stated that MediaTek began introducing its new processor to potential clients last week. The new chip will be known as the MT6592, which puts it in the same naming system as its other mobile processors, and it will be clocked somewhere between 1.7 and 2 GHz. This adds another chip to the pile that MediaTek appears to have been working on recently, the company is expected to release a new line of dual core, quad core, and even its own big.LITTLE processors over the course of the year.

mediatek mt6592 octo-core
Credit: Endadget

The discovery of an octo-core CPU does seem a little as odds with MediaTek’s statement that it wasn’t interested in producing octo-core processors earlier in the year, but the technology industry is rather fleeting and new ideas come and go all the time.

However, MediaTek’s new chip supposedly won’t be like the “fake” 8-core Exynos 5 Octa produced by Samsung. The Exynos big.LITTLE architecture uses two sets of asymmetrical quad-cores, four Cortex-A15s and four Cortex A7s, in order to balance peak performance against lower power consumption in less demanding and low power states. Even though technically big.LITTLE can run in MP mode to enable use of all eight cores at once, it’s still not quite the same has having eight equally powerful cores.

Anyway, the processor is believed to be built from eight ARM Cortex A7 cores, the same cores used in most of MediaTek’s processors, which, as already mentioned, will be clocked with a maximum frequency of between 1.7 and 2 GHz. Now usually you wouldn’t expect Cortex A7s to put in a particularly high-end performance, but, according to UDN, the eight cores managed to pull in a decent result in an initial AnTuTu benchmark test, scoring around 30,000, which is just behind Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 800.

AnTuTu benchmark
A score of around 30,000 would put the MT6592 ahead of the all the current processors on the market.

Other features, like GPU specifications or 3G/4G support, aren’t known about yet, but MediaTek has been investing heavily in 4G LTE development in recent months. There’s a good chance that, if this chip makes is way onto smartphones, it could incorporate an LTE modem. The chip will also be compatible with the MT6582 quad-core chip socket, which is due for a Q3 launch later this year and is aimed at smartphones, so we can expect that the new MT6592 is also heading to mobile devices.

The chip is expected to go into mass production in November this year, and will be manufactured using TSMC’s 28nm process.

The first devices to use this chip could be heading to the market in early 2014, although no handsets or tablets have been confirmed as of yet.