MediaTek Helio X20 Brings The Power Of Ten Cores To Your Smartphone


Taiwanese chipmaker goes full barrels with powerful new mobile platform

The smartphone chip wars just got a little hotter thanks to today’s revealing of the first-ever deca-core processor.

Taiwanese manufacturer MediaTek has taken the wraps off its Helio X20 processor, which features an incredible ten cores in its attempt to provide the best all-round user experience for smartphone customers.

It says that the Helio X20 should allow for the development of more powerful smartphones sporting faster and brighter components, all using less battery power than before.

Helio-X20 mediatekAll out

This includes the potential for 32MP main camera lenses, 13MP across dual camera for 3Dimaging, 4K HDR video recording and playback, and support for superfast LTE Cat 6 networks, all in a device which fits into your pocket.

The release of a deca-core chipset is part of MediaTek’s aim to give customers ‘immersive usability’, Chet Babla, the company’s EMEA senior director, told TechWeekEurope, which looks to continue the steady rise it has enjoyed over the past few years, most recently with the octa-core Helio X10 released in March.

“We’ve had some great progress,” he said, “We’ve had a lot of high profile customers shipping our products onto the market…it’s really helping to take MediaTek to the next level.”

This next level involves packing in ten ARM cores into one single chip – an industry first and one which MediaTek says should provide a much smoother customer experience.

This is thanks to the 2-4-4 ‘tri-cluster’ formation of the cores, which all look to take on different levels of performance depending on the tasks being carried out by the user in what Babla describes as a ‘Max-Mid-Min’ process.

For example, the two most powerful cores, both ARM A72 capable of speeds up to 2.5Ghz, will take on the most power-hungry tasks, such as streaming video content or gaming.

Backing these ‘Max’ A72 cores are four A53 cores running at 2.0Ghz in the ‘Mid’ level, and four A52 cores at 1.4Ghz in the ‘Min’ level, each system of which is capable of switching the strain of tasks from others in a matter of milliseconds.

This is thanks to MediaTek’s Corepilot 3.0 system, which analyses the phone’s usage and decides which task for all CPUs and GPUs to send to which core, allowing for smooth, heterongenous computing power whilst also managing power and thermal effects so that extreme performance can be attained while creating less heat.

“It’s not about the power, but what you do with it,” says Babla, who added that the Helio X20 offers up a 30 percent reduction of power consumption compared with conventional dual cluster architectures.

group on smartphone ©andersr/shutterstock.comPower up

And in order to react to the growing number of apps that require ‘always-on’ access, such as GPS tracking and MP3 playback, the Helio X20 also packs an integrated, low power sensor processor – ARM Cortex-M4 which operates on an isolated, low power domain to assist with tasks for better battery efficiency.

Babla says that MediaTek is planning to start sampling the Helio X20 later this year ahead of an official release in December, and expects to see new devices featuring the chip on show at CES 2016 in January next year, possibly alongside similar offerings from its rivals.

“We like to lead the way here, and if people think this is the right architecture, and if it proves itself in the consumer awareness then they might be doing the same,” he added.

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