MediaTek gunning for Qualcomm with world’s first 4nm chip


Taiwanese chip manufacturer MediaTek has unveiled the Dimensity 9000, the first smartphone processor in the world to be built on a 4nm manufacturing process.

MediaTek’s chips are typically found in budget and lower-end mid-range smartphones running Android.

Due to significant demand for smartphones in these price ranges, the company has captured the largest share of the global market, with its chips shipping in 40% of smartphones.

It has rarely competed at the higher end, with its last attempts being the Helio X20 and Helio X30, released from 2016 to 2017.

The high-end Dimensity 1000 boasts substantial performance but doesn’t quite punch at the level of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 or Samsung’s Exynos 990.

The Dimensity 9000 looks to change things up.

Unlike its previous premium offers, this chip sports many industry firsts, potentially making it powerful enough to compete directly with flagship SoCs from Qualcomm and Samsung.

Firstly, it debuts TSMC’s N4 node, packing 6% more density with similar increases in performance and efficiency expected.

Aside from being the first 4nm chip, the Dimensity 9000 is also the first to offer Arm’s new v9 architecture.

MediaTek claims this offers 35% better performance and 37% better power efficiency than an “Android flagship”, which Anandtech presumes to be the Snapdragon 888.

The architecture comprises a single Cortex-X2 performance core clocked at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores running at 2.85GHz, and fourth Cortex-A510 efficiency cores clocking 1.8GHz.

It also comes with a new Mali G710 GPU and is the first SoC compatible with LPDDR5X RAM, capable of 60GB/s memory bandwidth.

The chip can support a single camera sensor up to 320MP or a triple sensor comprising three 32MP lenses.

For video recording, it can film 8K at 30 frames per second or 4K at 120 frames per second, while 8K content can be played back at up to 60 frames.

In terms of connectivity, the chip boasts built-in 5G support.

The first smartphones running the Dimensity 9000 are expected in the first quarter of 2022.

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