There aren’t any phone launches expected now and it is that time of the year when chipmakers are preparing to unveil their next generation of chipsets. Two chipmakers, MediaTek and Qualcomm, will be launching their respective chipsets on November 26 and December 3 respectively. While both of them already have 5G modems that can be paired with chipsets in their portfolios, this time around, both the companies are expected to unveil SoCs that come integrated with 5G modems. It is also speculated that both of them will be bringing 5G capabilities in the chipsets that will be used in mid-range segment smartphones.
MediaTek is competing against the likes of Qualcomm, HiSilicon Kirin (made by Huawei) and Samsung Exynos for Android devices. As mentioned, MediaTek already has the Helio M70 5G modem that relies on the sub-6GHz frequency to deliver 5G connectivity, however, little is known about the upcoming SoC. As per a promo by the company, the flagship chip will have MT6885Z model number and will be based on a 7nm manufacturing process.
The MT6885Z SoC could use the latest ARM Cortex-A77 cores alongside the Mali-G77 GPU. The 5G modem is likely to support sub-6GHz bands and is touted to have dedicated cores for AI processing. Camera support could go up to 80MP along with 4K at 60 FPS video recording. In the mid-range segment, MediaTek may bring a Helio M70-based 5G chipset by the name MT6873 and it is said to be manufactured by the 7nm process and rely on Cortex-A76 cores.
Qualcomm is hosting its annual summit in Hawaii from December 3 to December 5 where the American chipmaker is likely to unveil the Snapdragon 865 chipset. Qualcomm flagship chipsets are used by Google, Samsung, OnePlus and its sister companies, among others. While Qualcomm already has a 5G modem than can be coupled with the Snapdragon 855 and 855+ SoCs, reports suggests that the Snapdragon 865 could be the company’s first 5G-modem integrated chipset.
The Snapdragon 865 is named as SD8250 internally, and it is expected to come with LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 3.0 storage support. The 7nm processor will bring upgraded Adreno GPUs and new CPU cores based on the Cortex-A77 design released by ARM, and is expected to have cores for AI and image processing. Qualcomm has also said in the past that its 7-series SoCs with integrated-5G modems will also debut soon.
Huawei and Samsung have already launched their 5G-capable chipsets. Huawei, which makes HiSilicon Kirin chipsets, launched Kirin 990 processor at the IFA conference in Berlin, Germany. The Kirin 990 is manufactured by 7nm+ EUV fabrication process, and at the time of its launch, it was the first chipset with integrated 5G modem. Huawei says that the SoC is designed to bring elevated performance, energy efficiency, AI capabilities, and photography to users.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s Exynos 990 processor comes with a 120Hz refresh-rate display driver, which will make gaming and content consumption experiences smoother. The chipset is claimed to be specifically tailored for future mobile devices to make intensive use of video and artificial intelligence (AI) applications as well as 5G communications. Samsung said that both the Exynos 990 premium mobile processor and the 5G Exynos Modem 5123 are based on the 7nm fabrication process technology.