MediaTek isn’t exactly a household name, but they’re a huge player in the mobile processor space. Like many other chip vendors, they don’t build their own chips, instead they design them and then have factories pump them out. This is an industry standard practice that everyone (Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, NVIDIA) does. Now MediaTek chips aren’t exactly known in North America and Europe, but in China they’re huge. And because China has more than a billion people, you bet MediaTek is swimming in money. Their newest platform, the MT6575, continues their tradition of providing a low cost, yet highly competitive solution. It rocks a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, PowerVR SGX Series5 GPU, 3G connectivity, and best of all it’s already tuned to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Devices using this system on chip should cost less than $200 and hit the market as early as Q1 of this year. For the sake of comparison, let’s look at the Samsung Galaxy S: it has a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9, PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, and it first shipped in June 2010 in Singapore for $869. The MT6575 delivers even more performance for less than $200. That type of progress in less than 24 months is exactly why we love this industry.
The bigger question is when will MediaTek’s chips stop being shoved in Chinese iPhone clones and end up in products that get sold in American and European markets? For the life of us, we don’t understand why this hasn’t happened sooner. Is it because today’s handset vendors don’t want to damage their relationships with their existing chipset providers? Is it because American operators don’t want Chinese designed chips in their portfolio? If you know, or have any conspiracy theories to offer, then do chime in.
Back to the MT6575 though, don’t assume the competition is sitting still. We have no doubt that Qualcomm is working on a platform for sub $200 smartphones that delivers the exact same performance as we saw back in the HTC/Google Nexus One.
[Via: The Verge]