MediaTek – Watch Out, We Have Big Plans For The Smartphone Market

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Launch of its new Helio X20 chipset is only the beginning, Siegmund Redl tells TechWeekEurope

MediaTek has laid out its plans for conquering the hyper-competitive mobile device market.

Speaking exclusively to TechWeekEurope, Siegmund Redl, the company’s European vice president and general manager, explained how its chipset range, including the upcoming super-powered Helio X20, will help it continue to grow its market share and take on the likes of Qualcomm and Nvidia.

Growing

telecomsRecent analyst figures have estimated that the number of smartphones in the world will hit 1.5bn this year, Redl says, and these new units will not come from the likes of Apple or Samsung, but the type of specialised, local brands that MediaTek likes to work with.

“We must not forget that the big subscriber base is in the mid-range, and at entry level”, Redl says. “These will not be iPhone 6s anymore, they will not be Samsung Galaxy S6s anymore…these need to be consumer devices.”

MediaTek has only been working in the smartphone business since 2011, but has built up a strong customer base with both major international brands as well as local manufacturers, particularly in recent years as it looks to help provide low-cost LTE-enabled devices.

As costs go down across the mobile industry, Redl says it will not be long until we see an LTE-enabled phone for under €80 (£57) – an incredible statement given where the market was a few years ago.

“MediaTek’s talent lies in getting smartphone manufacturers up and running fast, providing reference designs, blueprints that these new manufacturers can follow quickly to put together their own phones,” he says.

High-end

But away from these low-cost devices, MediaTek is also targeting the high-end of the smartphone market with its X10 and X20 chipsets, the latter of which will come with the power of 10 CPU cores.

Confirming that the X20 will begin shipping in devices within the fourth quarter of the year, Redl is understandably enthusiastic about the benefits it will bring to consumers.Siegmund Redl MediaTek

A large part of this is thanks to 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.

And in terms of what this provides, Redl (pictured right) says that thanks to improved thermo-throttling  and power management, Corepilot 3.0 can offer up to 20 percent more performance along with 20 percent less power consumption, figures which he says are “quite conservative numbers”.

“We have an advantage….we are in front,” he notes. “Everyone is trying to tackle the problem – the problem we have of performance and power consumption – with a different approach. What we are doing with the X20 and even the X10 today means that MediaTek is leading”

This strong competition with the likes of Qualcomm and Nvidia is also helping spur on innovation, Redl says, noting that it “benefits the whole industry to have the race to be better”.

Standing out

Ultimately, where MediaTek could steal a crucial advantage is in offering something truly different to the identikit iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices flooding the market, as consumers increasingly look for a device to make them stand out.

“People want to differentiate themselves,” Redl says, “Consumers are more aware of what is inside (of their phone)”. There is an increasing parallel between the smartphone market and that of the early PC industry, he says, noting how Intel marketed itself as the key component to have in people’s home computers – and now the mobile market is crying out for someone similar.

“People are increasingly interested and they want to know what is in their devices,” he says.

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