Mediatek Smartphone and Tablet SoC Product Line (Mess) Explained

This week-end, I have been tipped about a $91 Mediatek MT8317 based 7″ Phablet, but I really did not know what to think about it as Mediatek seems to have so many SoCs, and really felt lazy trying to dig information about this. Yet, in the back of my head, I had decided to eventually make a post trying to clarifying Mediatek SoCs. This morning, I felt relieved not to have to spend hours investigating, as found an analyst paper doing just that, at least for recent and upcoming Mediatek processors.

Mediatek Smartphone SoCs Roadmap

MT6589 is certainly the most common SoC for cheap quad core smartphones, and starting this month, it will be available in MT6589M and MT6589T versions, the former with a weak video processing unit (VPU) and ISP, and GPU frequency, and the latter with higher GPU and CPU frequencies. Contrary to the table below, MT6589 and MT6589T support 1080p displays, whereas MT6589M supports 960×540 resolution (Source: gizchina). MT6592 Octa-core Cortex A7 @ 2.0GHz, and MT6588 quad core Cortex A7 @1.7GHz are coming for the end of the year with PowerVR Series 6 GPU. The analyst estimates MT6592 may have performance close to Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 application processor.

Smartphone SoC 2013-2014 Roadmap (Click to Enlarge)
Smartphone SoC 2013-2014 Roadmap (Click to Enlarge)

On the low-end of the product line, Mediatek provides MT6582 and MT6572, quad or dual Cortex A7 SoC with ARM Mali-400 GPU. All new Mediatek are based on Cortex A7 with 28nm process, so the company seems to have “fallen in love” with this particular core, and strangely has not planned any big.LITTLE smartphone SoC. MT629X in the table above is not a smartphone SoC, but just an LTE modem.

Mediatek Dual and Quad Core Tablet SoCs

On the tablet front, we’ve got MT8377 and MT8137 dual core Cortex A9 processors, both of which will soon be phased out, as well as two quad core Cortex A7 SoC MT8389 and MT8125, the former with mobile connectivity, and the latter without.

Tablet SoCs 2013-2014 Roadmap (Click to Enlarge)
Tablet SoC 2013-2014 Roadmap

Mediatek MT8135, a quad core Cortex A15 + A7 processor with big.LITTLE processing, should be made available in Q3 2013. It does not come with built-in mobile connectivity, but can be paired with MT629X LTE modem. All Mediatek tablet SoCs feature a PowerVR SGX GPU, with MT8135 boasting a new Power SGX6XX GPU.

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12 Replies to “Mediatek Smartphone and Tablet SoC Product Line (Mess) Explained”

  1. @onebir
    Maybe it was mainly a mess in my head… :). I could not understand why they would launch some many quad core A7 SoC, and to some extend I still don’t, but at least the overall picture is clearer now.

    Since Mediatek does not provides very detailed press release (like Qualcomm), it also difficult to find out what they are up to, and their website is pretty poor too.
    For example if you go to MT8125/MT8389 page, you’re left scratching your head finding the differences between MT8125 and MT8389.

    For customers that do not care about processors (the majority I guess), it’s not a problem, but if you like to know what kind of processor is in your device, Mediatek does a dismal job a communicating the differences. The SoC nomeclature also do not give any clue about features, but that’s apparently the industry “best practice” to give meaningless names.

  2. Now there’s also MT8312 dual core Cortex A7 with Mali-400MP GPU.
    It can be found in sub $100 3G tablet such as Cube Talk 7X –
    MTK8312 tablet can be bought for $60 in quantities –

    There are also rumors about quad and octo core ARM Cortex A53 (64-bit) + LTE SoCs from Mediatek called MT6732 and MT6752.

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