MediaTek MT8183 Octa-core Cortex A73/A53 SoC Targets Chromebooks

MediaTek processors have been found in a few Chromebooks notably in MediaTek MT8173 powered Acer Chromebook R13, but the quad-core Cortex A72/A53 processor hasn’t made it into many models like the hexa-core Rockchip RK3399 “OP1” processor. However, I’ve been informed there are a few patchsets that have been submitted to mainline Linux and V4L2 mailing lists about MediaTek MT8183 octa-core Cortex A73/A53 processor.

The latter adds a Digital Image Processing (DIP) driver on MediaTek MT8183 SoC, “which will be used in camera features on CrOS application” and some code related to MT8183 is found in Chromium OS repository, so those clues should confirm the octa-core processor will end up in Chromebooks, with the current MT8183 reference board being named Kukui.

MediaTek MT8183There aren’t any product pages for MT8183 on MediaTek website just yet, but by looking at the source code (e.g. Device tree file), and some clues around the web, we can derive the main features of the processor:

  • CPU – 4x Arm Cortex A73 cores @ up to 1.99 GHz, 4x Arm Cortex A53 cores
  • GPU – Mali Bifrost GPU (See media libs)
  • Memory I/F – LPDDR4x memory controller
  • Multi-core AI NPU (Neural Processing Unit) delivering up to 280 GMAC/s

Many of the specifications look similar to Helio P70 smartphone SoC, including the 280 GMAC/s NPU, so I would not be surprised if MT8183 processor featured the same Arm Mali-G72 MP3, and 12nm manufacturing process.

MediaTek MT8183 Benchmark GeekBench 4

The processor was also benchmarked on Android 8.1 with GeekBench 4 last year, and results look good, at least compared to Amlogic S922X and Rockchip RK3399, especially when it comes to the multi-core score. The single core score is in the 1,300 to 1,400+ range, against around 1,200 points for the single core, but the multi-core score of 5,285 points is much higher than S922X (4x A73, 2x A53) and RK3399 (2x A72, 4x A53) with respectively 3,133 and 2,710 points, either because of a better design, better cooling, a different manufacturing process, or/and software implementation.

Thanks to Nobe for the tip.

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blu
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blu

Just a note: MT8173C is found in way more chromebooks than the RK3399: https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices
^f mt8173: 7
^f rk3399: 2 (plus 2 or 3 chrometabs)

willy
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willy

Makes sense, it’s quite hard to make good use of 6 cores in a tablet. Two small and two large cores should be enough for everyone 🙂

blu
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blu

I’d rather have a 24 x CA53 notebook, thank you ; )

In all seriousness, I believe CA53 was the core that turned this industry upside down — there’s hardly been a more influential CPU design in the past decade. The PPA of that thing is through the roof.

Laurent
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Laurent

The single core score looks quite low for a Cortex-A73. An Honor View 10 with its Kirin 970 gets >1700.
http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/12030488

OTOH the multi core score is comparable, but single core perf matters.

And looking deeper into results DB, I found other examples of MT8183 with a score of ~1500/~5600. This for instance: http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8677119

That looks more reasonable.

Paul M
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Paul M

perhaps the chip has been put into too many devices where thermal throttling sets in?

I wonder if Mediatek know they have a reputation for being crap at product support, w.r.t. keeping code working for newer kernels. Probably they do and simply don’t care. But if they did, their devices might become more popular and thus they could sell for higher prices? Certainly, I do everything I can to avoid their products.