MediaTek is a fabless chip maker from China that has quickly grown to become one of the largest providers of silicon for the booming Asian phone industry, but with a confusing naming scheme, it's hard to make sense of the countless chips that MediaTek is offering. With more and more first-tier smartphone makers like HTC and Sony adopting MediaTek chips in their phones, it's worth keeping tabs on this company that makes extremely affordable and competitive SoCs.


Before we dive into MediaTek's roadmap, here is a quick overview of the scale of MediaTek’s business so far:

the company has $6.76 billion of revenue (NT$213 billion) for 2014

it achieved a gross margin of 47.9%

its Q4 after-tax profit stood at $329.72 million (NT$10.4 billion), up 20.8 percent on the year

Q4 revenue amounted to $1.76 billion (NT$55.4 billion), up 39.3% year-on-year

Currently, MediaTek uses TSMC for the production of its chips, and with production of 16nm FinFETs in Q3 2015, we expect no less than a full-blown top-end Snapdragon competitor from China in 2016, but even this year, MediaTek is looking very competitive with its portfolio. With no further ado, let’s make some sense of the obscure four-digit names of MediaTek chips.


2015 chips: MT6595 (high-end) | MT6752 (mid-range) | MT6732 (low-end) 


Last-generation, 2014 (slower, still on sale): MT6592 (high-end) | MT6582 (mid-range) | MT6572 (low-end)


Upcoming chips: MT6795 (top-end) | MT6753 (mid-range) | MT6735 (affordable)


Past chips (still available on some phones): MT6589 (high-end) | MT6589T (high-end) | MT6577 (low-end) | MT6592 (mid-range) | MT6517 (low-end)



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Qualcomm was not chosen as a supplier for Samsung's newest Galaxy phones, as the S6 and the S6 edge employ a benchmark-busting Exynos chipset inside, a silicon that is running circles around the Snapdragon 810 as per our preliminary benchmark tests. This might be viewed as a blow against the ongoing long-lasting partnership between Sammy and Qualcomm. 


A new rumor claims that the second largest chipset maker, MediaTek, might have scored a sweet new partnership with Samsung on some upcoming, unnamed projects. This falls in line with the rumors that we had previously heard - MediaTek was said to provide chips for the low-end Tizen line of phones that Samsung is most likely holding in the pipeline.


In particular, the Deputy General Manager of MediaTek, Zhu Shan-gzu, has reportedly addressed this alleged new partnership, claiming that MediaTek has recently "made progress little by little in some direction”.


We are not sure whether MediaTek will score a deal with Samsung, but we are more than certain that the China-based chip maker is becoming more and more competitive - just a few days ago, at MWC, the silicon manufacturer unveiled the 64-bit Helio X10 chipset, which is aiming straight at the top-tier smartphone segment. Of course, the company also has a whole slew of affordable entry-level and mid-range chipsets to suit everyone's needs.

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Last week, we told you about MediaTek's new Helio X20, a 10-core chip. Today, some new information about the MT6797 10-core chip was revealed from a series of leaked slides. The images show that the MT6797 will include a pair of 2.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores, four 2.0GHz Cortex-A53 cores, and four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 cores. Another slide confirms earlier talk that the chip scored above 70,000 on the AnTuTu Benchmark site.


The MT6797 will reportedly offer a 40% boost in performance when compared to the prior Helio X10 chips put out by MediaTek. That includes the MT6795 which is found inside the recently unveiled HTC One M9 Plus.


The MT6797 will employ MediaTek's Tri-Cluster CPU Architecture. The 4+4 A53 cores will use the big.LITTLE architecture to provide a balance of power and efficient battery use. The chip will be produced using TSMC's 20nm process and does support LTE-A/Cat. 6. The latter provides data speed as fast as 300Mbps.


Mass production of the MT6797 is expected to begin in July, which means it could be the end of the year before manufacturers start using the chip inside new smartphones. The big question is whether MediaTek can break into the U.S. market and provide a real challenge to Qualcomm.

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MediaTek is a pioneering semiconductor company and a market leader in cutting-edge systems on chip (SOC) for Blu-Ray, tablets, navigation devices, HDTV, smartphones, smart home solutions and more. To learn more about us, visit www.mediatek.com or join us at MWC 2015.

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1/16 speed 480fps video playback. Interview at MWC event.

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