MediaTek Helio P90’s APU 2.0 Quadruples AI Performance

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Mediatek has launched another of their Helio P-series processor. We’ve gotten used to getting incremental improvements when it comes with CPU and GPU performance, but now companies are able to deliver massive improvement for neural network accelerators, and MediaTek Helio P90 can deliver four times (4.6x) the A.I. performance over Helio P60/P70 thanks to its APU 2.0.

MediaTek Helio P90

MediaTek Helio P90 key features & specifications:

  • CPU – 2x Arm Cortex-A75 processors @ 2.2GHz and 6x Arm Cortex-A55 processors @ 2.0GHz using DynamIQ technology
  • GPU – Imagination PowerVR GM 9446 GPU @ 970 MHz
  • NPU – MediaTek APU 2.0 fusion AI architecture with 1127 GMACs (2.25TOPs)
  • MediaTek CorePilot for sustainable peak performance, longer battery life and lower operating temperature
  • System Memory –  Up to 8GB of LPDDR4x memory @ 1866MHz
  • Storage – UFS 2.1
  • Display – Full HD+ (2520×1080) resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Camera
    • Up to 48MP single camera or 24+16MP dual camera
    • Triple-ISP design with 14-bit RAW and 10-bit YUV processing
    • 48MP @ 30FPS with ZSD or 16MP @ 480FPS
    • Advanced hardware Depth Engine with 30fps real-time bokeh and AI-enhanced precision that provides 6X performance and 2.25X high resolution
  • Cellular Connectivity – Advanced Cat 12/13 4G LTE modem with 4×4 MIMO, 3CA, 256QAM, dual 4G SIM and worldwide connectivity features
  • Wireless Connectivity
    • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    • Bluetooth 5.0
    • Location – GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
    • FM Radio
  • Process – 12FFC

The improved AI engine will allow real-time handling of features like 5-person human pose tracking, full body avatar AR, 3D pose tracking, multiple object and scene identification, AR/MR acceleration, as well as Google Lens and ARCore support, and secure & accurate facial recognition.

The processor supports the most popular frameworks such as TensorFlow, TensorFlow Lite, Caffe and Caffe2,  as well as Android NNAPI thanks to the company’s NeuroPilot SDK.

MediaTek Helio P-series are supposed to target premium mid-range smartphones, but Helio P90 really ups the ante. Beside a more more powerful AI engine, the processor also upgrades from a big.LITTLE Cortex A73/A53 design to a DynamIQ Cortex A75/A55 one that will boost overall performance.

Helio P90 is already shipping to MediaTek’s partners, and the first Helio P90 smartphone should start selling in Q1 2019. You may find more details on the product page.

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That would make for a nice entry-level chromebook, more so than the upcoming models with MT8176, which SoC looks dated in comparison (not that I’m doubting the latter’s feasibility, as my daily driver is an MT8173).