In the current smartphone market, only iPhone, Samsung, and Huawei have their own CPU processors in their mobile devices. The other vendors, mostly are replying on Qualcomm or MediaTek CPUs. The two CPU providers thus draw much attention from the market players. Here we would like to have a detailed view of the mobile phone processor giant-MediaTek.
Comparing to the Qualcomm SoC, which is commonly used in many flagship models, MediaTek smartphone SoC is well known for its cheap price for low-end and mid-range smartphones. Except some historical reason, this fame is formed also due to its plan to aim at and serve the low and medium range market. However, MediaTek would not stop here, even though their CPU is usually applied in cheap 150USD (the so call one thousand RMB) mobile devices, nowadays there is sign that it is also developing its high end market roadmap, Helio series for example, trying to compete with Qualcomm in all price range.
Naming rules of MediaTek mobile phone processors
At present, the mobile phone processor Qualcomm manufactured can be divided into four series: Snapdragon 800/600/400/200. In this way, people can easily understand its product’s market positioning. In comparison, MediaTek is a little bit confusing in naming its products. The way it names its CPU for mobile devices still stick to the old tradition. Those who do not know the naming rules would not be able to understand the market position of MediaTek products.
Generally, MediaTek smart phone CPU can be categorized into two series: MT65XX and MT67XX. MT stands for MediaTek, 65 and 67 refer to the bit type: 32bits and 64bits. The leftover letters represent the market positions, by principle, the bigger the number is, the high rank and fast speed this chipset unit would be.
Roughly speaking, the higher rank a product is, the better its overall performance would be. But there is exceptional case. For example, the MT6732 and MT6735, even if the position of MT6735 is ranked higher than MT6732, the general performance and standard is worse than the latter, the only advantage is that MT6735 supports both FDD and TDD. In addition, the CPU of MediaTek sometimes has two versions-T and M version. They can be regarded as the standard CPU with overclocking and down-clocking type. Moreover, two same level CPUs can be divided into different types based on its application in different markets.
Even in this way, MediaTek mobilephone CPUs are still hard to be categorized, thus MediaTek launched its Helio brand, now under this brand, there are Helio P10, Helio X10 and Helio X20 and its enhanced editioin Helio X25, aimed at high-end market, and there will be more. MediaTek hopes to get rid of its cheap and low-end tag with its Helio brand products, in the meanwhile, it is aimed at building up its brand awareness among customers.
MediaTek Helio series mobilephone CPU
Among the three MediaTek Helio series mobilephone CPU: Helio P10/X10/X20, the X10 is the first one to be launched and has been applied in many smartphone devices. P10 is in the same level of X10, with more network bands, but it has not officially entered into the market yet. Helio X20 is positioned as the highest rank, mainly for high end market, supports LTE FDD and TDD and just relased on March 16, 2016, with its enhanced edition of Helio X25, which is confirmed to be used in Meizu Pro 6.
Firstly, let's take a look at Helio X20, which is MediaTek’s first chipset with 3 CPU clusters, which come with 2 Cortex-A72 cores, 4 high-frequency Cortex-A53 cores and 4 low-frequency Cortex-A53 cores, equipped with Mali-T880 MP4 graphic core. It is said that the inter processing of the three different CPUs can maximize the performance and minimize power consuming. What’s more, Helio X10 support both FDD and TDD, LTE Cat.6 network, 4K video coding and decoding, 802.11ac wifi. It address to high end market.
Helio X10’s representative mobile device Meizu MX5
Helio P10 and Helio X10 are both with 8 cores Cortex-A53 architecture design, the former is equipped with Mali-T860 MP2 graphic cores, while the latter is with IMG G6200 graphic cores. Judging from the performance, Helio X10 is better than Helio P10, and Helio X10 supports 4K video coding and decoding, 802.11ac wifi, while the Helio P10 does not.
However, Helio P10 supports universal network frequency (China Union, China Mobile and China Telecom), LTE Cat.6., while Helio X10 supports only FDD and TDD and LTE Cat.4. As a result, Helio P10 covers more areas and would be addressing to more markets.
Remarkably, Helio X10 is originally planned for 230USD market (the so called 1,500 RMB market, as Chinese manufacturers usually refer to as), the first model adopting Helio X10 SoC is Meizu MX5 which is priced at 1799 RMB (277USD) though. Whereas the Redmi Note 3, also applying Helio X10 processor, sets its price at 155USD, which has definitely been frustrating for the MediaTek who are aimed to positioning Helio series for high end smartphones.
MediaTek 64 bit smartphone processor
Strictly speaking, this Helio series products MediaTek released still belongs to the MT67XX 64bit category CPU. For example, the Helio X10 is also known as MT6795. Now those processor still under the name of MT67xx are the four products for mid-range smartphones and low end phones. We can sort it out into two series: quad cores and octa cores.
The quad cores series are MT6732 and MT6735 processor. Both of them are quad core Cortex-A53 architecture design, with respectively Mali-T760 and Mali-T720 graphic cores. If evaluated from performance, MT6732 is better, while MT6735 is positioned to be higher than MT6732, because MT6735 is featured for its universal network bands, but MT6732 only supports TDD and FDD.
The relation between MT6752 and MT6753 is just like that of MT6732 and MT6735; both MT6752 and MT6753 are octa core, Cortex-A53 architecture.
But MT6752 is equipped with Mali-T760 graphic core, while MT6753 is with Mali-T720, the overall performance of MT6753 is better except the advantage that MT6753 is with universal network frequency.
MediaTek 32 bit smartphone processor
Now smart phone processor is entering into 64 bit generation. 32 bit processor is becoming out of date. MT65xx series product naturally comes into the second level product even if it used to help MediaTek achieve so much sales volume. Nowadays, it is seldom applied in new smart phone models.
MT6572 and MT6582 are MediaTek’s main force when it enters to smart phone market, old as they are, the dual core Cortex-A7 and quad core Cortex-A7 architecture processors used to contribute to middle-end and low-end market demands before.
MT6592, one of the most prominent products of MediaTek, achieves very high benchmarks thanks to its Cortex-A7 architecture. It is qualified to be a mainstream middle segment CPU product. Because it comes into being a little late, the MT6592 finally is positioned as a low end 1,000 yuan (150USD approx) product.
MT6595 representative Meizu MX4
The MT6595 comes even later than MT6592, with quad core Cortex-A17 and quad core Cortex A7 architecture, the graphic cores also apply the stronger IMG G6200, its general performance is qualified to compete with the high end products. But it comes too late that in a market full of 64 bit processors, as a 32 bit product, MT6595 is not fairly valued.