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MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT

After what happened last year with MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [this same blog, ]. The last 10 years’ strategy was incredible!

MediaTek - The Next 10 years Enablement NOWEnablement is the crucial differentiator for MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy, as much as it was for the one in the last 10 years. Therefore it will be presented in details below as follows:

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market (MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)
I/2. MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements
I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

II/1. CrossMount: “Whatever DLNA can plus a lot more”
II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT
II/3. LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform for WiFi enabled IoT

MWC 2015: MediaTek LinkIt Dev Platforms for Wearables & IoT – Weather Station & Smart Light Demos

MediaTek Labs technical expert Philip Handschin introduces us to two demonstrations based on LinkIt™ development platforms:
-Weather Station uses a LinkIt ONE development board to gather temperature, humidity and pressure data from several sensors. The data is then uploaded to the MediaTek Cloud Sandbox where it’s displayed in graphical form.
-Smart Light uses a LinkIt Connect 7681 development board. It receives instructions over a Wi-Fi connection, from a smartphone app, to control the color of an LED light bulb.

II/4. MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT
II/5. MediaTek Ventures Logo: to enable a new generation of world-class companies

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoCs for Android Wear and Android based wearables

Before these details let’s however understand the strategic reasoning for all that!
March 5, 2015: MediaTek CMO Johan Lodenius* at MWC 2015

MediaTek appoints Johan Lodenius as its new Chief Marketing Officer [press release, Dec 20, 2012]

MediaTek's Brand New World - The Big Picture -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Device Evolution -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Business Evolution -- MWC2015MediaTek's Brand New World -- MWC2015

MediaTek - Enabling a Brand New World

Next here is also a historical perspective (as per my blog) on MediaTek progress so far:
– First I would recommend to read the “White-box (Shanzhai) vendors” and “MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem” parts in the Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! Feb 21, 2011 post of mine in order to understand the recipe for its last 10 years success ⇒ Johan Lodenius NOW:
MediaTek was the pioneer of manufacturable reference design
– Then it is worth to take a look at the following posts directly related to MediaTek if you want to understand the further evolution of the company’s formula of success :

MediaTek on Experiencing the Cloud

#2 Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement — UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 (The MT6588 was later renamed MT6589). On the chart below of the “Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors Q4’09-Q4’14” by Statista it is quite well visible the effect of MT6575 (see from Q3’12 on) as this enabled a huge number of 3d Tier or no-name companies, predominantly from China to enter the smartphone market quickly and extremely competitively (and Nokia’s new strategy to fail as well)
Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors 4Q09-4Q14 by Statista#6 MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 internationally (via LightTake)
#13 MediaTek’s ‘smart-feature phone’ effort with likely Nokia tie-up
#16 UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery
#24 Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung
#42 MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2
#67 MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
#93 Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012
#128 MediaTek’s 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC MT8752 is launched with 4G/LTE tablets in China
#205 Now in China and coming to India: 4G LTE True Octa-core™premium superphones based on 32-bit MediaTek MT6595 SoC with upto 20% more performance, and upto 20% less power consumption via its CorePilot™ technology
#237 Micromax is in a strategic alliance with operator Aircel and SoC vendor MediaTek for delivery of bundled complete solution offers almost equivalent to cost of the device and providing innovative user experience
#281 ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips

As an alternative I can recommend here the February 2, 2015 presentation by Grant Kuo, Managing Director, MediaTek India on the IESA Vision Summit 2015 event in India:

– MediaTek Journey Since 1997
→ Accent on the turnkey handset solution: 200 eng. ⇒ 30-40 eng., time-to-market down to 4 months
→ Resulting in MediaTek share with local brands in India of 70% by 2014
 The Next Big Business after Mobile
 Partnering for New Business Opportunity
 Innovations & Democratization
→ Everyday Genius and Super-Mid Market

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market
(MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)

July 15, 2013:
Technology Spotlight: Making the big.LITTLE difference

MediaTek 2014 Market PerformanceNo matter where the mobile world takes us, MediaTek is always at the forefront, ensuring that the latest technologies from our partners are optimized for every mobile eventuality.

To maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture, MediaTek has delivered the world’s first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) – the MT8135 – with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), featuring MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology.

ARM big.LITTLE™ is the pairing of two high performance CPUs, with two power efficient CPUs, on a single SoC. MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology uses HMP to dynamically assign software tasks to the most appropriate CPU or combination of CPUs according to the task workload, therefore maximizing the device’s performance and power efficiency.

In our recently produced whitepaper, we discussed the advantages of HMP over alternative forms of big.LITTLE™ architecture, and noted that while – HMP overcomes the limitations of other big.LITTLE™ architectures, MediaTek’s CorePilot™ maximizes the performance and power-saving potential of HMP with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

To learn more, please download MediaTek’s CorePilot™ whitepaper.

Leader in HMP

As a founding member of the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation, MediaTek actively shapes the future of heterogeneous computing.

HSA Foundation is a not-for-profit consortium of SoC and software vendors, OEMs and academia.

July 15, 2013:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology [whitepaper]

Delivering extreme compute performance with maximum power efficiency

In July 2013, MediaTek delivered the industry’s first mobile system on a chip with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing. The MT8135 chipset for Android tablets features CorePilot technology that maximizes performance and power saving with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

Table of Contents

  • ARM big.LITTLE Architecture
  • big.LITTLE Implementation Models
  • Cluster Migration
  • CPU Migration
  • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
  • MediaTek CorePilot Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology
  • Interactive Power Management
  • Adaptive Thermal Management
  • Scheduler Algorithms
  • The MediaTek HMP Scheduler
  • The RT Scheduler
  • Task Scheduling & Performance
  • CPU-Intensive Benchmarks
  • Web Browsing
  • Task Scheduling & Power Efficiency
  • SUMMARY

Oct 29, 2013:
CorePilot Task Scheduling & Performance

Mobile SoCs have a limited power consumption budget.

  • With ARM big.LITTLE, SoC platforms are capable of asymmetric computing where by tasks can be allocated to CPU cores in line with their processing needs.
  • From the three available software models for configuring big.LITTLE SoC platforms, Heterogeneous Multi-Processing offers the best performance.
  • MediaTek CorePilot technology is designed to deliver the maximum compute performance from big.LITTLE mobile SoC platforms with low power consumption.
  • The MediaTek CorePilot MT8135 chipset for Android is the industry’s first Heterogeneous Multi-Processing implementation.
  • MediaTek leads in the heterogeneous computing space and will release further CorePilot innovations in 2014.
(*) The #1 market position in Digital TVs is the result of the acquisition of the MStar Semiconductor in 2012.

Feb 9, 2015 by Bidness Etc:
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) To Lose Market Share: UBS

UBS expects Mediatek to gain at Qualcomm’s expense this year

Eric Chen, Sunny Lin, and Samson Hung, analysts at UBS, suggest that Mediatek will control 46% of the 4G smartphone market in China in 2015. Last year the company had a 30% market share. Low-end customers, as well as high-end clients that are switching to Mediatek MT6795 from Snapdragon 800 will help Mediatek advance.

“We believe clients for MT6795 include Sony, LGE, HTC, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, TCL, and Lenovo, among others. With its design win of over 10 models, we anticipate Mediatek will ship 2m units per month in Q215 and 4m units per month in H215. That indicates revenue will reach 14% in Q215 and 21% in H215, up from 3% in Q115,” reads the report.UBS also said that Mediatek will witness a 20% increase in its revenue and report 48% in gross margin in 2015. Earnings are forecasted to grow 21%.

“We forecast MT6752/MT6732 shipments (mainly at MT6752 of US$18-20) to reach 3m units per month in Q215, up from 1.5m units per month in Q115,” read the report*.

My insert here the Sony Xperia E4g [based on MT6732] – Well-priced LTE-Smartphone Hands On at MWC 2015 by Mobilegeeks.de
* From another excerpt of the UBS report: “In the mid-end, UBS believes China’s largest smartphone manufacturers from LenovoGroup (992.HK) to Huawei will switch from Qualcomm’s MSM 8939 [Snapdragon 615] to Mediatek’s MT 6752 because of Qualcomm’s “inferior design.” ” 

Further below in the section I/2. there will be an image enhancement demonstration with an MT6752-based Lenovo A936 smartphone, actually a typical “lower end super-mid” device sold in China since December just for ¥998 ($160) — for 33% lower price than the mid-point for the super-mid market indicated a year ago by MediaTek (see the very first image in this post).

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek 64-bit LTE Octa-Core Smartphone Reference Design “In Shezhen MediaTek showed off their new Smartphone Reference Design for their LTE Octa-Core line up. The MT6595 and MT6795 are both high end processors capable of taking on Qualcomm in terms of benchmarks at a budget price.

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek: How They Came To Take on Qualcomm?

Brief content: When I found out about the MediaTek press conference, I immediately picked up a ticket and planned to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities on earth, Shenzhen. MediaTek is one of the fastet growing companies in mobile. But where exactly did this Taiwanese company come from?
Back in 1997 MediaTek was spun off from United Micro Electronics Corporation which was Taiwan’s first semi conductor company back in 1980 and started out making chipsets for home entertainment centers and optical drives. In 2004 they entered the mobile phone market with a different approach, instead of just selling SoCs they sold complete packages, a chip with an operating system all ready baked on, they were selling reference designs.
This cut entire heavily manned teams out of the process and more importantly reduced barriers for entry, small companies sold phones under their own brand. This is why most people have never heard of MediaTek, they merely enabled the success of others. Particularly in emerging markets like China.
With Feature phones peaking in 2012 and Smartphones finally taking over the top spot in 2013, they had to move on, it took them longer then they should have, regardless, they are here now. MediaTek is applying the same strategy for dominating the Feature Phone market to low and mid range Smartphones. They are already in bed with all the significant emerging market players like ZTE, Huawei & Alcatel. And getting manufacturers on your side works for gaining market share when carriers don’t have much control. Unsubsidized handsets make people purchase more affordable devices.
Despite its enormous success in the category where the next Billion handsets are going to be sold, they have yet to make a name for themselves in the West. Fair enough, being known for cheap handsets will create challengers to entering the high end market. But that hasn’t stopped them from coming out with the world first 4G LTE Octa core processor. And they even set up shop in Qualcomm’s backyard by opening an office in San Deigo. Which is a pretty big statement, especially when you take into consideration that MediaTek is bigger than Broadcom & Nvidia.
But as they push into the US, Qualcomm seeks to gain a foothold in China. So let’s take a closer look at that because this race has less to do with SoC’s than it does with LTE. MediaTek’s Octa-core processor with LTE put Qualcomm on alert because they always had to lead when it came to LTE. I found some stats on Android Authority from Strategy Analytics in Q3 2013 66% of their cellular revenue came from LTE, which MediaTek claimed second place at 12%, and Intel in third with 7%. Qualcomm even has a realtionship with China Mobile to get their LTE devices into the hands of its local market.

Even still, it is a numbers game and if MediaTek’s SoC performance is at the same level as Qualcomm’s mid range SoC offering but at a lower price, it won’t take MediaTek to catch up. But even on a more base level, let me tell you about a meeting that I had in Shenzhen with Gionee I asked about developing on Qualcomm vs MediaTek. They said, MediaTek will get back to you within the hour, Qualcomm will get back to you the next day, and when I mentioned Intel they just laughed.

Consumers might find it frustrating that MediaTek takes a little longer to come out with the latest version of Android, but the reason is that they are doing all the work for their partners. When you’re competing with a company that understand customer service better than anyone else right now, it’s going to be hard not to see them as a real threat.

MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.

In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.

“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”

“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing.  As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.

The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.

In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”

“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device.  The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.

The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December* has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.

* MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [press release, Dec 12, 2012]

See also: Imagination Welcomes MediaTek’s Innovation in True Heterogeneous Multi-Processing With New SoC Featuring PowerVR Series6 GPU [press release, Aug 28, 2013]

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 11 February, 2014 – MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
  • Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
  • ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
  • Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics
  • Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
  • DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems

  • World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
  • Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
  • 20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac

  • Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
  • Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
  • Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC

  • Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
  • Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

Sept 21, 2014:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Technology

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Launches 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE Smartphone SoC with World’s First 2K Display Support

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 15, 2014 – MediaTek today announced MT6795, the 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE smartphone System on Chip (SoC) with the world’s first 2K display support. This is MediaTek’s flagship smartphone SoC designed to empower high-end device makers to leap into the Android™ 64-bit era.

The MT6795 is currently set to be the first 64-bit, LTE, True Octa-core SoC targeting the premium segment, with speed of up to 2.2GHz, to hit the market. The SoC features MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology providing world-class multi-processor performance and thermal control, as well as dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked at 933MHz for top-end memory bandwidth in a smartphone.

The high-performance SoC also satisfies the multimedia requirements of even the most demanding users, featuring multimedia subsystems that support many technologies never before possible or seen in a smartphone, including support for 120Hz displays and the capability to create and playback 480 frames per second (fps) 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos.

With the launch of MT6795, MediaTek is accelerating the global transition to LTE and creating opportunities for device makers to gain first-mover advantage with top-of-the-line devices in the 64-bit Android device market. Coupled with 4G LTE support, MT6795 completes MediaTek’s 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio: MT6795 for power users, MT6752 for mainstream users and MT6732 for entry level users. This extensive portfolio allows everyone to embrace the improved speed from 4G LTE and parallel computing capability from CorePilot and 64-bit processors.

Key features of MT6795:

  • 64-bit True Octa-core LTE SoC* with clock speed up to 2.2GHz
  • MediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight cores
  • Dual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz
  • 2K on device display (2560×1600)
  • 120Hz mobile display with Response Time Enhancement Technology and MediaTek ClearMotion™
  • 480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video feature
  • Integrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and apps
  • Support for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networks
  • Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+
  • Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek has once again demonstrated leading engineering capabilities by delivering breakthrough technology and time-to-market advantage that enable limitless opportunities for our partners and end users, while setting the bar even higher for our competition,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.  “With a complete and inclusive 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio, we are firmly on track to lead the industry in delivering premium mobile user experiences for years to come.”

MT6795-powered devices will be commercially available by the end of 2014.

*  Instead of a heterogeneous multi-processing architecture, the MT6795 features eight identical Cortex-A53 cores. 4xA53 + 4xA57 big.LITTLE was unofficially before.
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek Launches MT6735Mainstream WorldModeSmartphone Platform

By adding CDMA2000, MediaTek accomplishes WorldMode modem capability in a single platform and meets wireless operator requirements globally; putting advanced yet affordable smartphones into the hands of consumers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 15 October, 2014 – MediaTek today announced a new 64-bit mobile system on chip (SoC), MT6735, incorporating the modem and RF needs of wireless operators globally.  By offering a unified mobile platform, MediaTek is enabling its customers to develop on the MT6735 and sell mobile devices globally, thereby creating significant R&D cost savings and economies of scale in manufacturing.  The MT6735 builds upon MediaTek’s existing line-up of mainstream LTE platforms by adding the critical WorldMode modem capability.

The MT6735 incorporates four 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 processors, delivering significantly higher performance than Cortex-A7 for a premium mobile computing experience, driving greater choice of smart devices at affordable prices for consumers. As projected, MediaTek sees a continued consolidation of smartphones into a very large mid-range, termed by MediaTek as the “Super-mid market”.

“The MT6735 is a breakthrough product from MediaTek,” said Jeffrey Ju, SVP and General Manager of Wireless Communication at MediaTek. “With CDMA2000, we offer global reach, driving high performance technology into the hands of users everywhere. We also strongly believe that as LTE becomes mainstream in all markets, the processing power must be consistently high to ensure the best possible user experience. That’s why 64-bit CPUs and CorePilotTM technology are standard features across all of our LTE solutions.”

“MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best, fully-connected user experiences do not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to creating powerful devices that accelerate the transformation of the global market and strive to put high-quality technology in the hands of everyone.”

The MT6735 platform includes:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor control system, providing a performance boost for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 13MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1280×720 resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

MT6735 is sampling to early customers in Q4, 2014, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

March 4, 2015:
LTE WorldMode with MediaTek MT6735 and MT6753, now ready for the USA market and worldwide!

ARMdevices.net (Charbax): MediaTek now supports worldwide LTE with the 64bit MT6735 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and the 64bit MT6753 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53. This is LTE Cat4, they claim to be 10-15% faster in single SIM mode and 20-30% faster with dual-sim support compared to perhaps a Qualcomm LTE Worldmode. They also claim to use less power than competitor for standby, 3G and LTE mode. Many LTE Telcos around the world have already certified support for these new MediaTek LTE parts, with support on Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Telefonica, Verizon and AT&T. This LTE Worldmode processor is a big deal for MediaTek as it opens up the USA market for them, where MediaTek previously didn’t have much support for American telecoms as MediaTek’s previous 3G and LTE solutions mainly was working outside of the USA.

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Releases the MT6753: A WorldMode 64-bit Octa-core Smartphone SoC

Complete with integrated CDMA2000 technology that looks to meet the needs of the high-end smartphone market worldwide 

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the release of the MT6753, a 64-bit Octa-core mobile system-on-chip (SoC) with support for WorldMode modem capability. Coupled with the previously announced MT6735 quad-core SoC, the new MT6753 is designed with high performance features for an ever more demanding mid-range market.

Reinforcing MediaTek’s commitment to driving the latest technology to customers across the world, the MT6753 SoC will be offered at a price that creates strong value for customers, especially as it comes with integrated CDMA2000 to ensure compatibility in every market. The eight ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors and Mali-T720 GPU helps to ensure customers can meet graphic-heavy multimedia requirements while also maintaining battery efficiency for high-end devices.

“The launch of the MT6753 again demonstrates MediaTek’s desire to offer more power and choice to our 4G LTE product line, while also giving customers worldwide greater diversity and flexibility in their product layouts”, said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President at MediaTek.

The MT6753, which is compatible with the previously announced MT6735 for entry smartphones, also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way. MT6753 is sampling to customers now, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

Key Features of MT6753 include:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Octa-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor technology, providing a perfect balance of performance and power for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 16MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1920×1080 60fps resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

January 2015: MediaTek leaked smartphone roadmap (note the MT67xx scheduled for 4Q 2015 and using 20nm technology, as well that the new smartphone SoCs, except the very entry 3G with Cortex-A7, are based on Cortex-A53 cores while still using 28nm)
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek leaked smartphone SoC roadmap -- Jan-2015
The availability dates shown above are for the first commercial devices!

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into MediaTek Helio Logo(starting with the MT6795 now denominated as Helio X10), after the Greek word for sun, “helios”:

March 12, 2015:
MediaTek Helio explained by CMO Johan Lodenius at MWC 2015

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into Helio

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek SVP Jeffrey Ju introducing the new Helio branding for premium (P) and extreme (X) performance segments of the smartphone SoCs at MWC 2015


I/2. Then continues with the presentation of MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements (click on the links to watch the related brief videos):
MiraVision picture quality enhancement
SmartScreen as “the best viewing experience across extreme lighting conditions”
120Hz LCD display technology for a whole new experience (vs. the current 60Hz used by everyone)
– Super-SlowMotion, meaning 1/16 speed 480fps video playback (world’s first)
Instant Focus, meaning phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) technology on mobile devices cameras
– preliminary information on the new high-end Helio SoC with the new Cortex-A72 relying on 20nm technology, MiraVision Plus and their 3d genaration modem in 2nd half of 2015 (so it is quite likely the MT67xx mentioned in the above roadmap)

Note that 3d party companies are providing additional imaging enhancements to the device manufacturers, like the ones demonstrated by ArcSoft for the Lenovo Golden Warrior Note 8 TD-LTE (A936) at MWC 2015. Designed with Chinese (TD) and global market capabilities in mind, and available there from Dec’14 for ¥998 ($160) it is based on the MT6752 octacore which is providing the ARM Mali™-T760 GPU. ArcSoft is exploiting the GPU Compute capabilities for the additional imaging features shown in the video below:


I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

MediaTek To Redefine the Android Tablet Industry with world-first ARM® Cortex®-A72-based tablet SoC – MT8173

Revolutionary new 64-bit ARM processor ramps up tablet performance and battery life for heavy content Android users

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek today announced the first tablet system-on-chip (SoC) in a family that features an ARM® Cortex®-A72 processor, the industry’s highest-performing mobile CPU. The Quad-core MT8173 is designed to maximize the benefits of the new processor and greatly increase tablet performance, while extending battery life to ensure a premium tablet experience. The MT8173 meets the growing demand for 4K Ultra HD content and graphic-heavy gaming by everyday mobile computing device users.

The MT8173 is designed with a 64-bit Multi-core big.LITTLE architecture that combines two Cortex-A72 CPUs and two Cortex-A53 CPUs, extending performance and power efficiency further. MT8173 boasts a six-fold  increase in performance compared to the MT8125 released in 2013. MT8173 offers up to 2.4GHz performance, supporting OpenCL with the deployment of MediaTek Corepilot® 2.0, and enables heterogeneous computing between the CPU and GPU. The SoC also ensures the ultimate in display clarity and motion fluency on 120Hz display, promising smooth scrolling with crystal clarity as compared to a normal 60Hz display.

“MT8173 highlights the significant shift in how mobile devices, such as Android tablets, are used and, with the combination of ARM’s latest technology, we are delivering a platform that answers the growing demand for improved mobile multimedia performance and power usage.  By presenting CPU specs that outperform any other device currently on the market, we are bringing PC-like performance to tablet form factor, reinforcing MediaTek’s continued commitment to deliver premium technology to everyone across the globe.” said Joe Chen, Senior Vice President of MediaTek.

“MediaTek has been a strong adopter of ARM big.LITTLE processing architecture, extending it with CorePilot, to deliver extreme performance, while maintaining power efficiency,” said Noel Hurley, General Manager, CPU group, ARM. “Decisively and quickly incorporating the second-generation of our 64-bit technology into a market-ready product, underscores the partnership between ARM and MediaTek.”

The MT8173 platform features:

True Heterogeneous 64-bit Multi-Core big.LITTLE architecture up to 2.4GHz

  • Features ARM Cortex®-A72 and ARM Cortex®-A53 64-bit CPU
  • Big cores and LITTLE cores can run at full speed at the same time for peak performance requirement
  • Performance of up to 2.4GHz

Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU

  • Supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL for future applications
  • Delivers 350Mtri/s and 2.8 Gpix/s performance
  • Provides uncompromised user experience for WQXGA display at 60fps

Comprehensive Multimedia Features

  • 120Hz mobile display
  • Ultra HD 30fps H.264/HEVC(10-bit)/VP9 hardware video playback
  • WQXGA display support with TV-grade picture quality enhancement
  • HDMI and Miracast support for multi-screen applications
  • 20MP camera ISP with video face beautify and LOMO effects

Security hardware accelerator

  • Supports Widevine Level 1, Miracast with HDCP
  • HDCP 2.2 for premium video to 4k TV display

MT8173 is available for customers now, and will be featured in the first commercial tablets in second half of this year. MT8173 is being demonstrated at 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at MediaTek’s booth – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 

MediaTek CorePilot 2.0 technology

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek CTO Kevin Jou on CorePilot 2.0 at MWC 2015


Then continues with the presentation of the new:
– MT8173 with the world’s first Cortex-A72 in the “big” role
– worldmode modem technology with LTE category 6

CrossMount technology as the “not yet another DLNA solution, as it does whatever DLNA can plus a lot more


II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

Feb 27, 2015:
II/1. CrossMount
Unite your devices: Open up new possibilities

Technology makes it easy to share the things we love, but only when we use it in a certain way.

Making a video call just needs a smartphone with a camera, for instance, but what if you want to talk using the big screen on your HDTV? And what happens when you want to watch video from your set-top IPTV box on your tablet when you’re lying in bed — and use your smartwatch as a remote control?

With technology playing an increasingly important part in our lives, these are the kind of problems we can expect to face every day. And they’re the kind of problems MediaTek solves with CrossMount.

MediaTek CrossMount is a new standard for sharing hardware and software resources between a whole host of consumer electronics.

Based on the UPnP protocol, CrossMount connects compatible devices wirelessly, using either a home Wi-Fi network or a Wi-Fi Direct connection, to allow one to seamlessly access the features of another.

So you can start watching streaming video on the living room TV, for example, then switch it to your tablet when you move to another room, or use your TV’s speakers for a hands-free phone call with your smartphone. The possibilities are endless.

The CrossMount Alliance for MediaTek partners, customers and developers makes developing CrossMount applications as easy as possible, many brands and developers are already on board.

CrossMount will be available in late 2015 for MediaTek-based Android devices

MediaTek Introduces a New Convergence Standard for Cross-device Sharing with CrossMount

Fast and easy sharing of content, hardware and software resources enable multiple devices to combine and act together as a single, more powerful device

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015– MediaTek today announced CrossMount – a new technology that simplifies hardware and software resource sharing between different consumer devices. Designed to be a new standard in cross-device convergence, the CrossMount framework ensures any compatible device can seamlessly use and share hardware or software resources authorized by the user. CrossMount is an open and simple-to-implement technology for the wide ecosystem of MediaTek customers and partners that opens the possibilities for multiple devices effectively working as one or sharing applications and hardware resources.

CrossMount defines its service mounting standard based on UPnP protocol, and can be implemented primarily in Android and Linux as well as other platforms. CrossMount works through simple discovery, pairing, authorization and use between devices of both hardware and software resources across smartphones, tablets and TVs. Communication between devices is achieved directly between devices via home gateways (Wireless LAN) or peer to peer (Wi-Fi Direct). Discovery and sharing are granted through an easy software implementation that allows all Wi-Fi capable devices to share resources without the need for cloud servers.

“Consumers have adopted a wide array of Internet-connected devices at home, in schools and workplaces, CrossMount sets the new standard for easy cross-device interaction and resource sharing.  We are particularly keen to open up this innovation to our wide ecosystem of customers and partners around the world, unleashing their imagination to create new immersive experiences that further enrich peoples’ lives” said, Joe Chen, Senior Vice President, MediaTek.

With CrossMount enabled devices, for example, viewers can simply pair their TV sound to their smartphone earphones or use their smartphone microphone as a voice controller to search content on their smart TV.  This is a breakthrough in user experience as the CrossMount standard means several devices can act as one together rather than simply share content.

“CrossMount is a lot more than mirroring from phone to TV – as has already been developed within the industry”, added Joe Chen. “CrossMount goes the extra mile with hardware and software capability sharing between smart devices, thereby creating many useful and more complex use cases, such as mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session.”

To further drive the adoption of CrossMount as an industry standard, MediaTek is establishing the CrossMount Alliance to bring its wide ecosystem of partners and customers together and explore new possibilities to drive the technology forward. CrossMount will be open for developers to further expand the ability for innovative and new applications to be created, potentially changing the way we use and share devices and content. Chang-hong, Hisense, Lenovo and TCL are the first MediaTek customers to support CrossMount.

CrossMount will be made available to MediaTek customers and partners in the third quarter for Android-based smartphone, tablet and TV products, with devices expected on the market by end of this year.


II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT

March 20, 2015: MediaTek Labs – IoT Lab at 4YFN Barcelona

See how MediaTek Labs supported the winning team, Playdrop, who took advantage of the MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board to build an innovative water monitoring and control system prototype. Playdrop was just one of the competitors at IoT Lab, where developers from all over the world formed new teams and had less than two days to ideate, create business cases and working prototypes for the Internet of Things (IoT).
You can also hear from VP of MediaTek Labs, Marc Naddell, about how our development platforms will be supporting more developers on their journey into Wearables and IoT devices.

To find out more about MediaTek Labs & our offerings:
LinkIt ONE development platform: http://labs.mediatek.com/one
MediaTek Cloud Sandbox: http://labs.mediatek.com/sandbox
Get the tools you need to build your own Wearables and IoT devices, register now:http://labs.mediatek.com/register

Feb 18, 2015: What is MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform?

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development platform enables you to design and prototype Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, using hardware and an API that are similar to those offered for Arduino boards.

The platform is based around the world’s smallest commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) for Wearables, MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This SoC works with MediaTek’s energy efficient Wi-Fi and GNSS companion chipsets also. This means you can easily create devices that connect to other smart devices or directly to cloud applications and services.

To make it easy to prototype Wearables and IoT devices and their applications, the platform delivers:

  • The LinkIt ONE Software Development Kit (SDK) for the creation of apps for LinkIt ONE devices. This SDK integrates with the Arduino software to deliver an API and development process that will be instantly familiar.
  • The LinkIt ONE Hardware Development Kit (HDK) for prototyping devices. Based on a MediaTek hardware reference design, the HDK delivers the LinkIt ONE development board from Seeed Studio.

Key features of LinkIt ONE development platform:

  • Optimized performance and power consumption to offer consumers appealing, functional Wearables and IoT devices
  • Based on MediaTek Aster (MT2502) SoC, offering comprehensive communications and media options, with support for GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, SD Cards, and MP3/AAC Audio, as well as Wi-Fi and GNSS (hardware dependent)
  • Delivers an API, to access key features of the Aster SoC, that is similar to that for Arduino; enabling existing Arduino apps to be quickly ported and new apps created with ease
  • LinkIt ONE developer board from partner Seeed Studio with similar pin-out to the Arduino UNO enabling a wide range of peripheral and circuits to be connected to the board
  • LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino) offering instant familiarity to Arduino developers and a easy to learn toolset for beginners

LinkIt ONE SDK                                                      LinkIt ONE HDK

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform

LinkIt ONE architecture

Running on top of the Aster (MT2502) and, where used, its companion GNSS and Wi-Fi chipsets, the LinkIt ONE developer platform is based on an RTOS kernel. On top of this kernel is a set of drivers, middleware and protocol stacks that expose the features of the chipsets to a Framework. A run-time Environment then provides services to the Arduino porting layer that delivers the LinkIt ONE API for Arduino. The API is used to develop Arduino Sketches with the LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino).

MediaTek LinkIt ONE architecture*MT3332 (GPS) and MT5931 (WiFi) are optional

Hardware core: Aster (MT2502)

The hardware core for LinkIt ONE development platform is MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This chipset also works with our Wi-Fi and GNSS chips, offering high performance and low power consumption to Wearables and IoT devices.

MediaTek Aster (MT2502)Aster’s highly integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) design avoids the need for multiple chips, meaning smaller devices and reduced costs for device creators, as well as eliminating the need for compatibility tests.

With Aster, it’s now easier and cheaper for device manufacturers and the maker community to produce desirable, functional wearable products.

Key features

  • The smallest commercial System-on-Chip (5.4mm*6.2mm) currently on the market
  • CPU core: ARM7 EJ-S 260MHz
  • Memory: 4MB RAM, 4MB Flash
  • PAN: Dual Bluetooth 2.1 (SPP) and 4.0 (GATT)
  • WAN: GSM and GPRS modem
  • Power: PMU and charger functions, low power mode with sensor hub function
  • Multimedia: Audio (list formats), video (list formats), camera (list formats/resolutions)
  • Interfaces: External ports for LCD, camera, I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO, and more

MediaTek Aster (MT2502) vs the competition

Get started with the LinkIt ONE development platform

Nov 12, 2014: MediaTek Labs – LinkIt workshop presentation


MediaTek Labs technical expert Pablo (Yuhsian) Sun provides an overview of the LinkIt Development Platform, in this presentation recorded at XDA:DevCon. Pablo describes what LinkIt is and discusses why its capabilities — such as support for Wi-Fi, SMS, Groove peripherals, and more — make it the ideal, cost effective tool for prototyping wearable and IoT devices. He also covers the LinkIt ONE board, offering an in-depth look at its hardware, introduced the APIs, and shows you how software is developed with Ardunio and the LinkIt SDK. Link to additional resources are also provided. If you haven’t used the LinkIt development platform, this video provides you with all the basics to get started.

MediaTek Launches LinkIt™ Platform for Wearables and Internet of Things

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – June 3, 2014 – MediaTek today announced LinkIt™, a development platform built to accelerate the wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster System on Chip (SoC), the smallest wearable SoC currently on the market. The MediaTek Aster SoC is designed to enable the developer community to create a broad range of affordable wearable and IoT products and solutions, for the billions of consumers in the rising Super-mid market to realize their potential as Everyday Geniuses.

Key features of MediaTek Aster and LinkIt:

  • MediaTek Aster, the smallest SoC in a package size of 5.4×6.2mm specifically designed for wearable devices.
  • LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster SoC and is a developer platform supported by reference designs that enable creation of various form factors, functionalities, and internet connected services.
  • Synergies between microprocessor unit and communication modules, facilitating development and saving time in new device creation.
  • Modularity in software architecture provides developers with high degree of flexibility.
  • Supports over-the-air (OTA) updates for apps, algorithms and drivers which enable “push and install” software stack (named MediaTek Capsule) from phones or computers to devices built with MediaTek Aster.
  • Plug-in software development kit (SDK) for Arduino and VisualStudio. Support for Eclipse is planned for Q4 this year.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) based on LinkIt board by third party.

“MediaTek is now in a unique position to assume leadership by accelerating development for wearables and IoT, thanks to our LinkIt platform,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.  “We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the Super-mid market.”

Eric Li, Vice President, China’s Internet giant said, “Baidu provides a wealth of services for its users on our Internet portal, and our offerings will enable MediaTek-powered devices to do much more than they already can. The IoT is inter-connecting devices, and we’re connecting people with information via such devices. Our partnership with MediaTek will bring both of us closer to our respective goals.”

Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice President of Gameloft, another one of MediaTek’s ecosystem partners, said, “The wearable devices era is a fascinating one for a game developer. Proliferation of devices equipped with all sorts of different sensors and measured information from human body are creating possibilities for us to develop games that are played differently and in ways that were never imagined before. We are pleased to be a partner of MediaTek, who is enabling the wearable devices future for us to continuously bring innovative games to gamers around the world.”

The launch of LinkIt is a part of MediaTek’s wider initiative for the developer community called MediaTek Labs™ which will officially launch later this year. MediaTek Labs will stimulate and support the creation of wearable devices and IoT applications based on the LinkIt platform. Developers and device makers who are interested in joining the MediaTek Labs program are invited to email labs-registration@mediatek.com to receive a notification once the program launches. For more information and ongoing updates, please go to http://labs.mediatek.com.

Oct 30, 2014:
LinkIt ONE Plus Version from SeedStudio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LinkIt-ONE-p-2017.html)


Jan 3, 2015:
II/3. What is MediaTek LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform?

There is an increasing trend towards connecting every imaginable electrical or electronic device found in the home. For many of these applications developers simply want to add the ability to remotely control a device — turn on a table lamp, adjust the temperature setting of an air-conditioner or unlock a door. This is where the MediaTek MT7681 comes in.

MediaTek MT7681

MediaTek MT7681 is a compact Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoC) for IoT devices with embedded TCP/IP stack. By adding the MT7681 to an IoT device it can connect to other smart devices or to cloud applications and services. Connectivity on the MT7681 is achieved using Wi-Fi in either Wi-Fi station or access point (AP) mode.

In Wi-Fi station mode, MT7681 connects to a wireless AP and can then communicate with web services or cloud servers. A typical use of this option would be to enable a user to control the heating in their home from a home automation website.

To simplify the connection of an MT7681 chip to a wireless AP in Wi-Fi station mode, the MediaTek Smart Connection APIs are provided. These APIs enable a smart device app to remotely provision a MT7681 chip with AP details (SSID, authentication mode and password).

In AP mode, an MT7681 chip acts as an AP, enabling other wireless devices to connect to it directly. Using this mode, for example, the developer of a smart light bulb could offer users a smartphone application that enables bulbs to be controlled from within the home.

To control the device an MT7681 is incorporated into, the chip provides five GPIO pins and one UART port. In addition PWM is supported in software, for applications such as LED dimming.

MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform

To enable developers and makers to take advantage of the features of the MT7681, MediaTek Labs offers the MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform, consisting of an SDK, HDK and related documentation.

For software development MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 SDK is provided for Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Andes Development Kit, the SDK enables developers to create firmware to control an IoT device in response to instructions received wirelessly.

For IoT device prototyping, the LinkIt Connect 7681 development board is provided. The development board consists of a LinkIt Connect 7681 module, micro-USB port and pins for each of the I/O interfaces of the MT7681 chip. This enables you to quickly connect external hardware and peripherals to create device prototypes. The LinkIt Connect 7681 module, which measures just 15x18mm, is designed to easily mount on a PCB as part of production versions of an IoT device.

Key Features of MT7681

  • Wi-Fi station and access point (AP) modes
  • 802.11 b/g/n (in station mode) and 802.11 b/g (in AP mode)
  • Smart connection APIs to easily create Android or iOS apps to provision a device with wireless AP settings
  • TCP/IP stack
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation
  • Software PWM emulation for LED dimming
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation

Jan 15, 2015:
II/4. Join MediaTek Labs

MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT

Get the tools and resources you and your company need to go from idea to prototype to product.

Register now to get access to:

  • MediaTek SDKs
  • MediaTek hardware reference designs
  • Comment posting in our active developer forum
  • Private messaging with other MediaTek Labs members
  • Our solutions catalog, where you can share your project privately with MediaTek to unlock our support and matchmaking services

MediaTek Labs gives you the help you need to develop innovative hardware and software based on MediaTek products. From smart light bulbs, to the next-generation fitness tracker and the exciting world of the smartwatch, you can make your journey with our help.

As a registered Labs member you’ll be able to put your project in front of our business development team, who’ll help you find the partners you need to get you on the road to success. We’re here to help guide you through the exciting possibilities offered by the next wave in developer opportunities: Wearables and IoT.

MediaTek Labs is free to join:

Register today!

About MediaTek Labs

MediaTek is a young and entrepreneurial company that has grown quickly into a market leader. We identify with creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, and recognize the benefits of building an ecosystem that fosters your talents and your efforts to innovate.

MediaTek Labs is the developer hub for all our products. It builds on our track record for delivering industry-leading reference designs that offer the shortest time-to-market for our extensive customer and partner base.

MediaTek Launches Labs Developer Program to Jumpstart Wearable and IoT Device Creation

Unveils LinkIt™ platform; simplifies the development of hardware and software for developers, designers and makers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu — Sept 22, 2014 — MediaTek today launched MediaTek Labs (http://labs.mediatek.com), a global initiative that allows developers of any background or skill level to create wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new program provides developers, makers and service providers with software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.

“With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation,” says Marc Naddell, vice president of MediaTek Labs. “We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The Labs developer program also features the LinkIt™ Development Platform, which is based on theMediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. The LinkIt development Platform is the one of the best connected platforms, offering excellent integration for the package size and doing away with the need for additional connectivity hardware.  LinkIt makes creating prototype wearable and IoT devices easy and cost effective by leveraging MediaTek’s proven reference design development model. The LinkIt platform consists of the following components:

  • System-on-Chip (SoC)MediaTek Aster (MT2502), the world’s smallest commercial SoC for Wearables, and companion Wi-Fi (MT5931) and GPS (MT3332) chipsets offering powerful, battery efficient technology.
  • LinkIt OS — an advanced yet compact operating system that enables control software and takes full advantage of the features of the Aster SoC, companion chipsets, and a wide range of sensors and peripheral hardware.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) — Launching first with LinkIt ONE, a co-design project with Seeed Studio, the HDK will make it easy to add sensors, peripherals, and Arduino Shields to LinkIt ONE and create fully featured device prototypes.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) — Makers can easily migrate existing Arduino code to LinkIt ONE using the APIs provided. In addition, they get a range of APIs to make use of the LinkIt communication features: GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

To ensure developers can make the most of the LinkIt offering, the MediaTek Labs website includes a range of additional services, including:

  • Comprehensive business and technology overviews
  • A Solutions Catalog where developers can share information on their devices, applications, and services and become accessible for matchmaking to MediaTek’s customers and partners
  • Support services, including comprehensive FAQ, discussion forums that are monitored by MediaTek technical experts, and — for developers with solutions under development in the Solutions Catalog — free technical support.

“While makers still use their traditional industrial components for new connected IoT devices, with the LinkIt ONE hardware kit as part of MediaTek LinkIt Developer Platform, we’re excited to help Makers bring prototypes to market faster and more easily,” says Eric Pan, founder and chief executive officer of Seeed Studio.

Makers, designers and developers can sign up to MediaTek Labs today and download the full range of tools and documentation at http://labs.mediatek.com.

Mar 2, 2015:
MediaTek Labs Partner Connect

Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices.

To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help find you the partners you need to make your idea a reality. The program includes some of the world’s best EMS, OEM and ODM companies, as well as distributors of MediaTek products and suppliers of device components. But the real benefit comes from our MediaTek Labs experts, who will work with you to match your requirements with the right partner or partners.

Getting started is simple. Once you have registered your company on MediaTek Labs, submit your Wearables or IoT project to our confidential device Devices Catalog. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the development process — perhaps you have an early prototype running on a LinkIt development board or have full CAD and BOM for your product — our experts can help. Simply select the “Seeking Partner” option when you submit your device for review by MediaTek Labs and, once approved, one of our partner managers will review your requirements and get to work finding the right partners for you.

Designers and developers

Our design partners can assist with specific expertise in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer aided design (CAD), industrial design, regulatory compliance testing, software and more. Whether you’re looking for specific expertise to assist with a single aspect of your project or want a turnkey solution that delivers the vision of your prototype directly to manufacturing, these partners can help.

Manufacturers

From the late stages of development, where you need batches of production prototypes, through low volume pilot runs for consumer testing and marketing, to full production these partners can help. From your designs they’re able to turn your Wearables or IoT idea into a commercial consumer or enterprise product. They’ll do this employing the latest in manufacturing technology, from flexible facilities that can adapt to your needs as you find success in the market.

MediaTek distributors

If you have your own manufacturing facilities or partner and are looking to source MediaTek chipset modules in volumes beyond retail, these partners will be able to help you. In addition to providing for your volume requirements, they’ll also provide additional technical information and support to ensure you make optimal use of MediaTek chipsets in your product and manufacturing process.

Component suppliers

This group of partners will be able to assist you from prototype to production: from selecting the components for your pre-production prototypes through to production run quantities of specific components. Batteries, sensors, screens and much more can be supplied by these partners, from evaluation batches to production quantities delivered to your manufacturing facility or manufacturing partner.

MediaTek Labs Launches New Partner Program to Help Bring Wearables and IoT Devices to Market Faster

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect provides matchmaking for developers and partners in support of MediaTek LinkIt™

SPAIN, Barcelona March02, 2015 – As part of its global developer initiative, MediaTek today announced MediaTek Labs Partner Connect at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new supply chain partner program will help developers of Wearables and IoT devices design and launch their products based on MediaTek LinkIt by matching them with members of MediaTek’s extensive network of partners.

Today’s launch complements existing development platform offerings from MediaTek Labs and aims to reduce time to market for developers of new Wearables and IoT devices:

  • MediaTek LinkIt is a portfolio of development platforms – currently consisting of MediaTek LinkIt ONE and MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681– for Wearables and IoT, offering a broad range of connectivity options and the software and hardware development kits (SDKs, HDKs from Seeed Studio and Modules from AcSiP) needed for makers to create their own devices powered by MediaTek chipsets.
  • MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (also launched today) is a complimentary cloud-based IoT platform and playground to store, display and remotely access IoT device data during prototyping.
  • MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will assist registered developers of MediaTek Labs in finding appropriate supply chain partners to help with design, development and manufacturing, sourcing of MediaTek chipset based modules and other key components. MediaTek ODM partners have available off-the-shelf reference designs to rapidly serve developers with different design capabilities.

“Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help developers find the partners they need to make their ideas a reality”.

To gain access to Partner Connect matchmaking services, Labs member companies submit their Wearables or IoT projects to the Labs confidential Device Solutions Catalog and select the “Seeking Partner” option. MediaTek Labs will then help evaluate the business case and technical feasibility of the device, and, once vetted and approved, a partner manager will get to work finding the right partners in MediaTek’s network.

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect is the latest initiative to expand the company’s 17-year legacy of working closely across a wide ecosystem of TV, phone, tablet, navigation, router, gaming and multimedia customers. Over the years, MediaTek has provided efficient, turnkey solutions that give these clients a cost-effective and rapid time to market for their new devices and has taken many start-ups from humble beginnings to established, global enterprises. Now MediaTek is extending partner network to developers and makers in the Wearables and IoT space through MediaTek Labs Partner Connect.

To hear more about MediaTek Labs and see live demos of its unique offerings for developers, visit MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21. To learn more about MediaTek Labs Partner Connect, visit http://labs.mediatek.com/partners.

Mar 2, 2015:
Introduction to MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

When prototyping Wearables and IoT devices, you may want to collect, sort and visualize the data captured by your prototype. You may also want to test how your device could be controlled remotely and make these features available to testers and collaborators.

To save you from having to find and pay for cloud services, MediaTek Cloud Sandbox offers you a free service that you can use to quickly prototype your planned cloud implementation.

Using a RESTful API you collect data from your devices, which you can view in a powerful web-based dashboard. The dashboard offers a range of display and graphing options. Then you can control your Wearables and IoT devices by issuing commands from the dashboard. In addition, a complementary smartphone app lets you review collected data and control your devices from anywhere.

Key Features

  • Define Wearables and IoT prototype device data and other properties
  • Define data types such as geo-location, temperature, humidity and more
  • Create multiple devices from one profile
  • Push and Pull data between a device and the sandbox using a RESTful API
  • Remotely control devices using states, such as switch-state and more
  • Visualize data graphically
  • Receive notifications when data are collected or changed
  • Manage and control remotely, using the complementary mobile app
  • Create reports about prototypes and collected data
  • Perform FOTA firmware updates
  • Control access to data and devices with granular security control
  • Includes full API reference, FAQ and set of tutorials

Access MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

MediaTek Labs Helps Simplify Wearables and IoT Development with Free Cloud Service

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox accelerates device prototyping by offering developers a complimentary cloud service to host prototype-device data

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 2, 2015 – MediaTek Labs, today announced general availability of its new Cloud Sandbox data platform to better help developers bring their ideas to life for the Internet of Things (IoT). The new service, which is free to all registered MediaTek Labs members globally, offers convenient storage of and access to data from wearable and IoT devices during prototyping.

“MediaTek recognizes the importance of a cloud-based IoT platform and playground to service developers and makers who are prototyping wearable or IoT devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “With this complimentary offering from MediaTek Labs, IoT developers no longer need to set up and manage their own web server or source third-party cloud platform services. Instead they can focus on their IoT device prototyping and value proposition, accelerating the time from solution ideation to prototype and proof-of-concept”.

A considerable challenge for developers in the early stages of device creation is not only the management of large amounts of data but also a convenient and simple way to visualize the data and demo prototypes to collaborators. MediaTek Cloud Sandbox helps solve this with a variety of invaluable features , including:

  • Data storage and visual charting
  • Data monitoring with notifications
  • Device remote control
  • Firmware upgrades over-the-air (FOTA)
  • RESTful API support, TCP socket connection
  • Web or mobile app based access

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (MCS) will be on display in MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 – with three compelling demonstrations, including:

  1. Wine Brewer – A MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board implementation that won first prize in ITRI Mobilehero 2014 competition in Taiwan.
  2. Weather Station – A LinkIt ONE development board implementation that gathers and pushes real-time temperature, humidity and pressure data to MCS, and is able to have its fan controlled from MCS and the MCS companion mobile app.
  3. MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 demo – A LinkIt Connect 7681 development board implementation and its companion mobile app to demonstrate real-time LED color control.

MediaTek Labs was launched in September 2014 and continues to provide developers, makers and service providers with SDKs, HDKs and documentation, as well as technical and business support. To learn more about MediaTek Cloud Sandbox and get access , visit http://labs.mediatek.com/mcs .


MediaTek Ventures Logo
II/5. MediaTek Ventures launches to enable a new generation of world-class companies

MediaTek Allocates US$300m to Invest in New Business Opportunities

SPAIN, Barcelona March1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the launch of MediaTek Ventures – a new strategic investment arm within the company.  Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek Ventures will initially invest in startups in Greater China, Europe, Japan and North America, with a US$300m reserve.

MediaTek Ventures will actively invest into innovative startups in semiconductor-system-and devices, Internet infrastructure, services and IoT, with the goal of creating a collaborative ecosystem around MediaTek’s corporate objectives in communication, computing, online media and analytics.  Investments will include all stages of funding with a disciplinary approach focused on value creation.  Through MediaTek Ventures, the company is seeking to extend its 17 year heritage of innovation to the broader electronics value-chain, diversify product solutions, and monetize opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered. We are excited to enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in achieving their dreams and fostering companies that have the potential to create value to end-users around the world and solve the world’s biggest problems”, said David Ku, Chief Financial Officer, MediaTek.

Further details on the company’s investment strategy and roadmaps will be made available in the second half of 2015.

Entities interested in investment by MediaTek should send proposals to: ventures@mediatek.com. For more information, please visit www.mediatekventures.com.

March 5, 2015: MediaTek CFO David Ku on MediaTek Ventures at MWC 2015

MediaTek Ventures - Mission and current investment amount

MediaTek Investment Focus

MediaTek Cross-Platform Synergy and User Experience

MediaTek Geographic Focus

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoC for Android Wear and Android based standalone wearables

Note that this initiative is also for the standalone Android based wearables (i.e. working with no reliance on an Android based smarthone) as shown by the new production line of MediaTek’s lead and pilot partner Burg Wearables: Android 4.4 based Smart 3G & WiFi WatchPhones of 55g weight (and up), 10mm depth (and up) [this same blog, March 15, 2015]

Charbax: Best of MWC: MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch and Smart Glass!!

MediaTek launches their MT2601 Android Wear ready (soon) Smartwatch platform, and also they show off their Kopin micro LCD Smart Glass solution on MediaTek Aster MT2502. In my opinion, these are the best looking Smartwatch and Smartglass at Mobile World Congress 2015. The Smartwatch that MediaTek is showing is designed by GoerTek and it runs Android 4.4 for now but Android 5.0 with Android Wear UI is coming soon for the MT2601 platform according to MediaTek. MediaTek MT2502 is running an ARM11 core to run the MediaTek LinkIt OS while MediaTek MT2601 is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 to run a full Android Lollipop with Android Wear soon supported! This is perhaps the optimal low cost Smartwatch and Smart Glass solution for the market, finally available from MediaTek, with soon to come Lollipop thus Android Wear supported.

Specs of the GoerTek MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch:
– 1.5” circular TFT LCD 320×320
– IPX7 waterproofing
– BT/BLE, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G cellular supported
– Android 4.4 OS (Lollipop Android Wear soon!)
– PPG heart-rate sensing
– Built-in microphone and speaker

Remark: This GoerTek smartwatch uses the same MediaTek technology than the WatchPhones from Burg Wearables. The software technology is however quite better on the latter ones.

MediaTek Introduces MT2601 in Support of Google’s Android Wear Software

Higher energy efficiency and reduced component count of MT2601 in relation to competition translate into significant cost, size and usage time benefits

Las Vegas – Jan. 6, 2015 – MediaTek, a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its MT2601 System on Chip (SoC) for wearable devices based on Google’s Android Wear software. By enabling Android Wear on MT2601, MediaTek is offering a comprehensive platform solution for device makers to implement their own hardware and software, and introduces a multitude of possibilities in Android Wear devices for the fast-growing consumer class globally.

The MT2601 packs a robust set of features in its small size with 41.5 percent fewer components and lower current consumption when compared with other chipsets in the market. Its design advantages translate into lower bill of materials (BoM) costs, smaller printed circuit board (PCB) size and longer battery life, which in turn yield fashionable wearable devices with long usage times and affordable prices.

The MT2601 includes 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A7, ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, and supports qHD display resolution. The MT2601 interfaces with a whole host of external sensors and the wireless connectivity SoC MT6630 for Bluetooth – all in a PCBA footprint of less than 480 mm2. This small PCB size meets the design requirements of the widest variety of wearable devices in sports and fitness, location tracking, and various other categories. MediaTek is a strong supporter of Android Wear and will continue to evolve MT2601 to align with the Android Wear road map.

“The MT2601 has an incredibly small die size and is highly optimized for cost and power performance. The platform solution, comprised of MT2601 integrated with Android Wear software, will fuel the maker revolution and empower the application developer community worldwide to create a broad range of innovative applications and services,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.

The MT2601 is in mass production now and ready for inclusion in Android Wear devices.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 25 February, 2014 – Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

Then there is a MediaTek Protea platform for Android based wearables:

For mobile networking the optional parts of the Protea have the following characteristics:
– 2G Quad Band GSM (900/1800/850/1900)
– 3G Mono Band WCDMA (2100 or 1900) GPRS, EDGE, HSDAP, HSDAP+


Potential generic tags when clustered (selected ones are in blue):

#1 CLUSTER:
strategy: 671,000,000
business development“: 164,000,000
time to market“:  70,200,000
ecosystem: 53,200,000
marketing strategy“: 34,500,000
business strategy“: 25,800,000
rebranding: 6,750,000
strategy development“: 5,720,000
market strategy“: 1,430,000
developer program“: 751,000
strategic investment“: 609,000
corporate objectives” 526,000
partner ecosystem“: 397,000
design partners“: 439,000
supply chain partners“: 331,000
investment focus“: 364,000
reduce time to market“: 305,000
business development strategy“: 417,000
strategy development process“: 268,000
ecosystem partners“: 177,000
innovative startups“: 159,000
enable entrepreneurs“: 39,300
semiconductor market“: 244,000
smartphone strategy“: 77,700
strategic reasoning” 58,200
semiconductor vendors“: 49,000
SoC market“: 28,800
chip strategy“: 17,000
SoC vendors“: 11,300
“semiconductor strategy”: 9,280
“SoC strategy”: 4,330
“fabless strategy”: 3,840
“MediaTek strategy”: 616

#2 CLUSTER:
SoC: 238,000,000
quad-core“: 60,700,000
octa-core“: 2,660,000
smartphone chip“: 207,000
mobile SoC“: 63,400
smartphone SoC“: 43,700
SoC family“: 35,500
tablet SoC“: 23,500
SoC market“: 28,700
smartphone SoC market“: 14,200
SoC vendors“: 11,300
system on a chip“: 733,000
system on chip“: 625,000
fabless semiconductor“: 323,000
“fabless semiconductor vendors”: 4,890

#3 CLUSTER:
smartphone market“: 964,000
“phone market”: 632,000
“high-end”: 159,000,000
high-end market“: 425,000
LTE-Smartphone“: 605,000
“high-end phone”: 221,000
high-end smartphone“: 444,000
high-end smartphone market“: 67,900
“premium phone”: 356,000
premium smartphone“: 348,000
“premium smartphones”: 94,400
premium market“: 467,000
superphone: 435,000
superphones: 264,000
“superphone market”: 4,640
super-mid“: 177,000
“super-mid market”: 5610
“super mid-range”: 5570
mid-range“: 61,000,000
mid-range smartphone“: 400,000
“mid-range smartphones”: 153,000
“mid-range market”: 89,500
mid range smartphones: 2,460,000
best mid range android phone: 15,800,000
android phone“: 30,200,000
android smartphone“: 13,800,000

#4 CLUSTER:
tablets: 578,000,000
Android tablet“: 22,200,000
Android tablets“: 15,100,000
tablet market“: 919,000
premium tablet“: 152,000
high-end tablet“: 111,000
tablet chips“: 26,000
“high-end tablet market”: 8,450
“premium tablet market”: 8,050

#5 CLUSTER:
64-bit“: 135,000,000
forefront of technology“: 8,740,000
“64-bit computing”: 411,000
extreme performance“: 630,000
CPU+GPU“: 1,010,000
heterogeneous computing“: 312,000
“Heterogeneous System Architecture”: 60,100
“Heterogeneous Multi-Processing”: 42,800
“heterogeneous computing with OpenCL”: 15,400
big.LITTLE“: 863,000
“ARM big.LITTLE”: 95,800
“big.LITTLE Architecture”: 22,400
“big.LITTLE computing”: 18,400
“big.LITTLE cluster”: 16,600
multi-core processing“: 153,000
GPU compute“: 92,300
display technology“: 1,070,000
HDTV: 84,200,000
“power efficiency”: 819,000
premium mobile computing“: 762,000
“premium mobile computing experience”: 17,800
LTE: 170,000,000
“LTE World Mode”: 3,220
“LTE WorldMode”: 2,280
“LTE with CDMA”: 3,660
integrated CDMA2000“: 13,400
development platform“: 928,000
reference design“: 940,000
cloud computing“: 114,000,000

MediaTek’s 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC MT8752 is launched with 4G/LTE tablets in China

CUBE-Cool Rubik's Cube-MT8752-8732-based T7-T8-T9 range of tablets -- 11-Oct-2014Oct 9, 2014 (reports on several Chinese websites about the launch):  [First MT8752 octa-core Tablet!] 首款MT8752八核平板![999 Yuan Cool Rubik’s Cube T7] 999元酷比魔方T7发布
Oct 11, 2014 on JD.com (Jingdong Mall): [Cool Rubik’s Cube] 酷比魔方(CUBET7 7[inch tablet computer]英寸平板电脑(MT8752[octa-core]八核 JDI[Retina [1920*1200] screen]视网膜屏64[bit]位[China Unicom]联通/[mobile dual]移动双4G 2.0GHz 2G/16G ¥999.00 [$163]
Oct 11, 2014 in ProductShow on [site home of] 网站首页 – [Cool Rubik’s Cube] 酷比魔方(CUBE)[brand website]品牌网站: T7 – 酷比魔方(CUBE)品牌网站

8″ and 9″ tablets (T8 and T9) to come later, as well as the ones with the quad-core SoC variety MT8732.Their lead partner for that is Shenzhen Alldo Cube Technology and Science Co., Ltd. releasing its products under the  [Cool Rubik’s Cube] 酷比魔方(CUBE)brand. More information on this blog: MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [March 4-13, 2014]

This is MediaTek’s very first response to the 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Processor (ARM TechCon 2014, Oct 1-3): “our latest and greatest”. Regarding the MediaTek competitive edge over Qualcomm before that you can read on this blog:
– Qualcomm’s SoC business future is questioned first time [May 1, 2013]
– Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung [July 20, 2013 – March 15, 2014]
– MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2 [Dec 22, 2013 – Jan 27, 2014]
– ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [Feb 18 – March 13, 2014]

 

Intel’s desperate attempt to establish a sizeable foothold on the tablet market until its 14nm manufacturing leadership could provide a profitable position for the company in 2016

The stock market is over-optimistic about that: Intel tablets could cure [stock] market conditions [Saxo TV – TradingFloor.com YouTube channel, April 16, 2014]

Intel’s Q1 earnings beat expectations, that’s despite a decline in sales of personal computers. The firm has now outlined a strategy to carve out its own share of the tablet market, changing direction due to the switch in consumer habits. Intel’s PC division saw revenue drop one percent to $7.9 billion. The chipmaker’s shares rose as investors liked the forward looking blueprint for a firm that’s long been associated with the desktop. Intel reports that the firm shipped 10 million tablet chips in 2013 and is offering manufacturers incentives to use its products. Andy Ng – Senior Equity Analyst at Morningstar discusses Intel’s earnings and where he sees growth in the future.

image

I am—nevertheless—highly sceptical about that as Allwinner to continue the No. 1 position on Android tablet application processor market with the new UltraOcta A80 SoC optimized for premium devices, without the premium cost, also made universal accross other devices (TV box, notebook, smart TV, All-in-one and digital signage), and operating systems (ChromeOS, Smart TV, Windows, Ubuntu and Firefox OS) [‘USD 99 Allwinner’ blog, April 16, 2014]. My skepticism is also based on The lost U.S. grip on the mobile computing market, including not only the device business, but software development and patterns of use in general [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 14, 2014].

You can judge all that for yourself as the background and my analysis behind Intel’s tablet strategy could be found in the following sections of this post below:

  1. Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group (MCG), which the Tablet Group is just a part of, is the largest loss maker segment with losses even growing to $3.15B in 2013 from $1.78B in 2012, and continuing at least into 20145 
  2. Intel is desperate to cheat when comparing its current tablet performance based on Clover Trail+ against much lower priced and lesser frequency ARM Cortex-A9 tablets from brand vendors.
  3. Intel’s Krzanich is betting on sacrificing “contra revenue” dollars for Q2-Q4 2014 tablet market with Bay Trail-based tablets, while hoping to level the playing field with its TSMC produced SoFIA SoCs for the 2015 tablet market.

To understand the technical and business development aspects behind that strategy read my previous posts as well:
Intel CTE initiative: Bay Trail-Entry V0 (Z3735E and Z3735D) SoCs are shipping next week in $129 Onda (昂达) V819i Android tablets—Bay Trail-Entry V2.1 (Z3735G and Z3735F) SoCs might ship in $60+ Windows 8.1 tablets from Emdoor Digital (亿道) in the 3d quarter [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 11, 2014]
IDF14 Shenzhen: Intel is levelling the Wintel playing field with Android-ARM by introducing new competitive Windows tablet price points from $99 – $129 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 4, 2014]
The long awaited Windows 8.1 breakthrough opportunity with the new Intel “Bay Trail-T”, “Bay Trail-M” and “Bay Trail-D” SoCs? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 14, 2013]


1. Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group (MCG), which the Tablet Group is just a part of, is the largest loss maker segment with losses even growing to $3.15B in 2013 from $1.78B in 2012, and continuing at least into 2014 

image
Source: Download Quarters Q1 2014 [Intel Corporation – Investor Relations, April 16, 2014]

MCG is one of the new operating segments representing the following organisational responsibility, which is aligned with Intel’s new critical objectives (this particular segment was previously buried in the Other Intel Architecture Group):

  • Mobile and Communications Group (MCG): MCG includes the Phone Group, the Tablet Group and Multi-Comm, all previously part of the Other IA operating segments.
  • Mobile and Communications Group: Delivering platforms designed for the tablet and smartphone market segments; as well as mobile communications components such as baseband processors, radio frequency transceivers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth*, global navigation satellite systems and power management chips.

imageNote that the previous structure of operating segments (since the end of 2012) was as seen on the right. As far as the organizational size is concerned, according to Infineon Completes Sale of Mobile Phone Business to Intel – New Company Intel Mobile Communications starts operations [Infineon press release, Jan 31, 2011]:

Following the sale, approximately 3,500 employees in total will move globally from Infineon to the new company Intel Mobile Communications GmbH (IMC). IMC will be headquartered in Neubiberg near Munich, Germany.

Then according to Intel® Mobile Communications Profile [Intel, Jan 6, 2012]:

Intel Mobile Communications GmbH is a subsidiary of Intel Corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, USA. The company develops and markets innovative semiconductor products and solutions for mobile communications – most notably in the rapid-growth market segments of smart phones, tablets and ultra-low-cost mobile phones.

The company has approximately 4,000 employees all over the world, about 1,700 of whom work in Germany where the headcount at the company headquarters in Neubiberg near Munich is approximately 1,200. Other German sites are Ulm, Regensburg, Duisburg, Dresden, Braunschweig and Nuremberg. Intel Mobile Communications is represented in altogether 17 countries around the world and has a strong presence in the Asian growth markets.

Considering that the Mobile and Communications Group (MCG) of today was put together from Intel Mobile Communications, the Tablet Group and the Phone Group, the overall number of employees in MCG is quite probably more than 6000 people.

Note that as of May 2013 MediaTek had 6,880 employees and ARM Holdings’ workforce at the same time was 2,261. As of March 2014 Allwinner Technology had 550+ employees (450 of which were engineers). In July 2013 Rockchip had more than 500 employees, 80% were engineers. In September 2013 Spreadtrum had 1,506 employees.

The 4000 strong Multi-Comm business is mostly engaged in standalone baseband processor market which had the following sales structure in 2013 according to Forward Concepts [March 24, 2014]: 

image

Intel, the 2nd leading supplier of 3G thin modems in 2013 – will likely become the 2nd leading supplier of 3G/4G thin modems in 2014. Their focus will be on winning 3G/4G modem orders for notebooks and tablets. They will be challenged by Marvell’s 3G/4G PXA802 TD- LTE modem, which also supports TD-HSPA+ and is already shipping to ZTE.

Intel was—however—warning in its Nov 21, 2013 Investor Meeting presentation that:

image

In fact Strategy Analytics was painting a rather dark picture in Qualcomm’s Dominance Continues with 64 percent revenue share says Strategy Analytics [Feb 21, 2014]:

Qualcomm, MediaTek, Intel, Spreadtrum, and Broadcom captured the top-five revenue share spots in the cellular baseband processor market [which the standalone is just a part of] in 2013. Qualcomm dominated with 64 percent revenue share, followed by MediaTek with 12 percent revenue share and Intel with 8 percent revenue share.

Sravan Kundojjala, Senior Analyst, explains “Qualcomm domination in the cellular baseband market continued in 2013, thanks to its early investments in multi-mode LTE technology. The LTE baseband landscape is expected to be a crowded one in 2014 with several vendors including Broadcom, Ericsson, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, NVIDIA, Spreadtrum and others are all set to bring commercial multi-mode LTE chip products to the market and this could help drive LTE down into mid-to-low tier devices.”

According to Stuart Robinson, Director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service, “Strategy Analytics calculates that revenue from baseband-integrated applications processors represented over 60 percent of total baseband revenue in 2013, up from 48 percent in 2012. Most baseband vendors have now transitioned their portfolios to include integrated products in order to boost their revenue share.”

According to Christopher Taylor, Director of the Strategy Analytics RF and Wireless Componentservice, “MediaTek overtook Intel to capture the number two spot in the 3G UMTS baseband market in 2013, by Strategy Analytics estimates. MediaTek capitalized on its smartphone chip momentum and improved its baseband-mix. MediaTek’s recent LTE chip announcements could potentially improve its baseband revenue share in future.”

Such a doomsday scenario was even more present in Qualcomm, MediaTek in Two-Horse Race, Says CLSA; Game Over for BRCM, Etc. [Tech Trader Daily at Barrons.com, Apr 11, 2014]

… and predicting many of the challengers will fold up without making a dent in Qualcomm’s position.

We believe that the baseband battle is largely over and expect more consolidation in the next 1 – 2 years. Nvidia is already shifting its investments, and we see a strong possibility that Broadcom exits in the next 6 – 9 months. Intel’s new management may have a bit more time, but we do not see enough opportunity to justify its $2bn+ investments. Marvell is least likely to exit in our view, but we expect it to remain a niche player. Overall, we expect the Qualcomm / MediaTek duopoly to get even stronger in the coming years and see positive implications for the overall industry profitability.

image

The baseband market has seen meaningful consolidation over the years. In 2006, there were 15 vendors in the market including larger analog IC vendors such as Texas Instruments, Freescale, and Analog Devices. The market has contracted to about 9 vendors by 2008 and currently has 7 vendors, after the recent consolidation at ST-Ericsson and Renesas.

image

Even if second tier vendors make significant progress in LTE, we simply do not see enough opportunity for all these vendors to achieve profitability any time soon.

MediaTek has a higher share in shipments of Chinese smartphones:

image

Chinese telcos, in particular China Mobile, are aggressively expanding their 4G networks, and China Mobile is targeting 100m LTE devices for 2014. While China Mobile’s target does appear aggressive, Qualcomm appears to be dominating the early shipments. We expect MediaTek-based LTE phones to start shipping in the next few months and expect a majority of MediaTek’s 3G customers to stick with the company as the China market transitions to 4G. Chinese smartphone OEMs lack the R&D capability of their international peers, and as a result, rely on turnkey solutions from MediaTek and Qualcomm. While MediaTek appears a bit late with LTE, we expect the company to maintain a strong share of the China LTE market longer term given its relationships with domestic handset manufacturers.


2. Intel is desperate to cheat when comparing its current tablet performance based on Clover Trail+ against much lower priced and lesser frequency ARM Cortex-A9 tablets from brand vendors.

For an Intel Clover Trail+ (pre-Bay Trail-T) tablet: A Four-Tablet Comparison: Intel vs. Competition [IREPRockLegend YouTube channel, April 16, 2014]

Here are the benefits for the Intel Retail Edge Program members (Roadie, Producer, Rockstar and Rock Legend). (1) Learn Intel products, latest technology, sales techniques on monthly basis (2) Complete various learning courses, certification programs and earn lots of chips (3) Use chips to redeem all kinds of FREE electronic items (TV, Monitor, Xbox, PS3, iPad, iPod, CPU, Motherboard, SSD, RAM, etc.) (4) Exclusive monthly prize draws for Rockstars and Rock Legends (Notebook, Tablets, Ultrabook, TV, Monitor, etc.) (5) Deep Discount on Summer Deal and Holiday Deal (CPU, Motherboard, SSD, etc.) (6) Exciting competitions for even more prizes (Spring to Win, Score with Intel Core, Primary Objective) (7) Live webinars, events, parties with food & beverages, prizes and more (8) Meet great people from other stores and retail chains Registration is FREE. Join NOW: http://www.intel.com/retailedge

But Intel is cheating here, especially by being at least 2 times more expensive than the others (all the below prices are “best retail ones”), even discounting the 3G call capability:

  1. $300 (but has 3G call capability as well): Asus Fonepad 7 (Intel Atom Processor Z2560 (2 Clover Trail+ cores/4 threads, 1MB Cache, 1.60 GHz) since Q2’13)
    (++Review Asus Fonepad 7 ME372CG Tablet [Notebookcheck.net, Nov 13, 2013)
  2. $119: Amazon Kindle Fire [7”] HD* (TI OMAP 4460 Processor (2 Cortex-A9 cores, 1.20 GHz))
    [* Intel is cheating even more here as the 2nd generation figured in the above test has been replaced half a year ago by a 3d generation 7” Kindle Fire HD tablet which contains the TI OMAP 4470 with 2 Cortex-A9 cores, 1.5 GHz.]
  3. $160: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7” (ARM Cortex A9 Processor (2 Cortex-A9 cores, 1.2 GHz) )
  4. $139: Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 (ARM v7 Cortex A9 Processor (MediaTek 8317, Dual Core 1.2 GHz) )

The same cheating is in another new Intel video: A Three-Tablet Comparison: Intel vs. Competition [IREPRockLegend YouTube channel, April 16, 2014] where the $140 Dell Venue 7 16GB, having the same Z2560 CloverTrail+ processors goes against the same 2nd generation Amazon Kindle Fire [7”] HD and the also same Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7”:

And finally the cheating in the 3d new video is even more inexcusable: Tablets with Intel Inside® vs. the Competition: Samsung as here the $305 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1” tablet with the same 1.6 Ghz Z2560 (and list price of is compared with the $200 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1” having just a 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual core processor:


3. Intel’s Krzanich is betting on sacrificing “contra revenue” dollars for Q2-Q4 2014 tablet market with Bay-Trail-based tablets, while hoping to level the playing field with TSMC produced SoFIA SoCs for the 2015 tablet market

What is contra revenue? [Accounting Tools, March 5, 2013]

Contra revenue is a deduction from the gross revenue reported by a business, which results in net revenue.

Contra revenue transactions are recorded in one or more contra revenue accounts, which usually have a debit balance (as opposed to the credit balance in the typical revenue account). There are three commonly used contra revenue accounts, which are:

  • Sales returns. Contains either an allowance for returned goods, or the actual amount of revenue deduction attributable to returned goods.
  • Sales allowances. Contains either an allowance for reductions in the price of a product that has minor defects, or the actual amount of the allowance attributable to specific sales.
  • Sales discounts. Contains the amount of sales discounts given to customers, which is usually a discount given in exchange for early payments by customers.

In fact what Intel calls in accounting terms “contra revenue” it actually represents the subsidies paid to tablet manufacturers in order bring the Bill of Materials cost of Intel tablets into line with ARM based tablets. Intel was forced into these subsidies otherwise tablet manufacturers weren’t going to offer Intel based tablets.

Intel aggressively promoting tablet CPUs in China [DIGITIMES, April 14, 2014]

Intel has resorted to an aggressive pricing strategy to promote sales of its tablet-use processors, particularly in China, a move which apparently will take on Qualcomm and MediaTek, while ramping up its market share, according to industry sources.

Prices of Intel’s mainstream quad-core tablet CPUs have dropped to below US$5, which are almost on par with those offered by China-based chipset suppliers such as Rockchip Electronics and Allwinner Technology and even below those available from Nvidia, Qualcomm and MediaTek, said the sources.

Consequently, the number of Intel-based tablets is likely to expand in a great proportion as more and more China-based brand and white-box tablet vendors are expected to use Intel’s tablet CPUs to develop new products, the sources revealed.

Intel’s new policy also focuses on deepening its relationship with the supply chain in China, highlighting by its recent announcement of establishing an Intel Smart Device Innovation Center in Shenzhen and a US$100 million Intel Capital China Smart Device Innovation Fund, commented the sources.
To encourage China-based tablet makers to use Intel’s CPUs, the chipset vendor is offering assistance in terms of design, technology and marketing, the sources indicated.
Intel’s offerings will be particularly attractive to white-box tablet makers as they can optimize low-priced chipsets and advanced technologies to roll out competitive models for the entry-level segment, added the sources.
Intel aims to ship 40 million tablet CPUs in 2014, including entry-level Bay Trail family and SoFIA 3G platform products, the sources noted.

Intel Beats on Bottom Line, Misses Revenue Expectations for Q1 Results [TheStreet YouTube channel, April 15, 2014]

New yardsticks emerged on Tuesday as Intel announced its first-quarter results. The chipmaker reported earnings mostly in-line with estimates of 38 cents a share on $12.8 billion in revenues. Analysts were expecting 37 cents a share on revenue of $12.8 billion. Intel decided to break out numbers for new operating segments, including more detail on chip sales for smartphones and tablets as well as the so-called Internet of Things segment, including chips for a variety of gear like smart watches and home appliances.

From Intel Reports First-Quarter Revenue of $12.8 Billion Operating Income of $2.5 Billion, up 1 Percent Year-over-Year [news release, April 15, 2014]

Mobile and Communications Group revenue of $156 million, down 52 percent sequentially and down 61 percent year-over-year.

From Intel’s CEO Discusses Q1 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, April 15, 2014] ragarding the tablet strategy which is carried out by the Mobile and Communications Group:

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: … We set an aggressive goal of shipping 40 million tablet SOCs this year. And I’m happy to say we’ve tallied more than 90 designs on Android and Windows and shipped 5 million units in the first quarter, placing us squarely on track to that goal.

We demonstrated SoFIA, our first integrated apps processor and baseband, after adding it to the roadmap late last year. We’re on track to ship the 3G solution to OEMs in Q4 2014, with the LTE version following in the first half of 2015.

We also shipped our first Quark SoCs for the Internet of Things and announced an upgrade of Edison to the Silvermont Atom architecture. Edison is on track to ship this summer.

And in the Technology and Manufacturing Group, who’ve worked to advance Moore’s Law as foundational to our long-term success, we began production on our 14-nanometer process technology and remain on track to launch Broadwell in the second half of the year.

And the foundry team extended our collaboration with Altera to the development of multi-dye devices that take advantage of our world-class package and assembly capabilities and Altera’s leading-edge programmable logic.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: … The Mobile and Communications Group is down 61% from a year ago. The underlying dynamics are consistent with what we shared at the investor meeting last November.

We’re seeing a decline in our feature phone and 2G/3G multi-[com] [ph] business, as we’re in the midst of a transition to integrated LTE solutions. In addition, the ramp in tablet volume is being offset by an increase in contra revenue dollars.

We’re winning designs and ramping our tablet volume rapidly and we have design wins in LTE that will result in a second half revenue ramp.

Let me even back up and give you — again restate the strategy of what we’re doing here. … what we’re doing is we’re taking Bay Trail, which is a product really designed for the PC market, and we made the decision to take it broadly across different segments of the tablet market this year.

It brings along with it, at least over the course of 2014, a higher bill of materials. And that’s independent from the SOC cost. It’s the power management subsystem, it’s the motherboard that it goes on, it’s the memory solution, those kinds of things. And so, we’re providing some contra revenue to offset that bill of material delta over the course of 2014.

Now, as we said, we’re doing value engineering with our customers and our partners. And so we’re bringing down that bill of material over the course of 2014 independent of any changes to our SOC. …

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: … We have a series of improvements. They have already started to kick-in in some cases around our power management systems, the number of layers in our motherboards, the memory system integration. All of those things we’ve worked on and actually have started to see the advantages already in our costs.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: So, I think on a like dollars per unit, it comes down pretty dramatically over the course of 2014. And it should be relatively small, if at all, as we get into 2015. And it’s, again, the enablement we’re doing around the bill of materials.

And then we also have new products coming into the marketplace, like SoFIA, that’s targeted at the low end, and then in 2015 you’ll see Broxton, which is an SOC more for the mid-range to high-range of the market coming into our product portfolio.

So, the combination of all of that gives us a better cost structure with our own products and a better cost structure overall with the bill of materials as we enter 2015 and then work through 2015.

We’ll have significant unit growth in tablets. But remember that contra revenue isn’t just a gross margin impact; it’s actually a subtraction from revenue. And so that will mute the revenue growth for the segment because you have that negative as we get into the back half and ship more tablets. …

C.J. Muse – ISI Group: In terms of integrated LTE, you’ve talked about when we’ll first see that. But curious when you expect to bring that in house at Intel.

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: We’ll bring that in on our 14-nanometer process either late 2015 or early 2016. We’re still battling back and forth on how fast we can bring it in and at what impacts that has. 14-nanometer is the technology there.

Blaine Curtis – Barclays Capital: … Maybe actually follows up on CJ’s prior question. The MPG business that you’re now breaking out, it’s pretty clear it’s losing $3 billion, $3.5 billion. How do you think about this business?

Obviously you’re trying to ramp the product set you are a bit behind. You’re entering from the low end and that pricing seems quite tough. You’re facing some subsidies that you have to do on the tablet side.

Are there some milestones that you look at to get this business back profitable? Or maybe would you consider this strategic enough that you would consider continuing to run this as a loss?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: So, you asked several questions in there, so let me start to pars it apart. Absolutely this is a strategic business, so let’s just start with that. We think this is critical and we said this in our prepared statements. It’s critical from 2 in 1 devices down through the Internet of Things.

You look across the connectivity requirements there; more and more of the devices are requiring integrated connectivity, whether it be LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and all of these connectivities are becoming more and more required.

We don’t go into these businesses thinking that we’re going to lose money. We believe we have a roadmap to get to profitability in that business. The milestones that I look at — and so I’ll give you those for yourself to look at, we have the 7160, the current LTE version out there. We’re the second in LTE. We have the 7260 launch this quarter. I think that’s a critical there.

Again, we’re closing the gap with our competition. We’re bringing out leading edge Cat 6 capability with carrier aggregation. That’s a critical milestone. That puts — that closes the gap and puts us firmly in the LTE capability.

The next one is SoFIA. If you look at the SoFIAs at the end of this year with 3G integration and then a big first half of next year with LTE integration. Remember those products weren’t even on our roadmap six or seven months ago. So, that shows that we’re acting quickly integrating and bringing those products to production.

Then after that is, as Stacy said earlier, Broxton, which is our internal 14-nanometer product. That’s targeted towards the mid to high level. And as we bring that into the second half of 2015 and into 2016, there will be various levels of integration on that.

So, when I look across this, those are the milestones I look at, because those are what drive that along with just the basic cost reduction capabilities we talked about for this year as we get out of this contra revenue into 2015. Those products then place us firmly in leadership capability from the low end to the high end with integration. And those are the milestones to me that will lead to profitability long-term.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: And I’ll just add to that, I think you left it off because it was so obvious, but the 40 million tablets is one of the things I see Brian just laser focused on. And as we’ve talked about before, it gets us into the 15% to 20% range of the total tablet market.

It gives us a big enough footprint that we start to see people developing on our architectures. It becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem as we’re bringing these other products to the marketplace. So, don’t lose sight of that one, Blaine.

Stacy Rasgon – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co: I wanted to dig a little bit into the mobile and wireless group. So, you’ve talked a bit about having I guess developing leadership products, leadership position in order to drive profitability. We’re looking at this right now, though. So, we had the business fall more than 50% sequentially.

You have your 7160 which is shipping but apparently it’s not really driving much volume. We have the 7260 which is forthcoming, but we really haven’t heard much about design wins. And you launched at Mobile World Congress without really saying very much there.

We have SoFIA coming, which absolutely is integrated, but it’s being made at TSMC for the next few years which means you lose any potential benefits from your own process technology. And you would seem to be well behind what the market leaders are shipping in terms of 4G.

Just what should we be looking for and over what timeframe should we be looking for, for the ramp? I guess what I’m asking is, how can we get confidence that we’re going to actually see the revenue ramp that is built into the short-term expectations for this year and then going forward, to make sure that you can actually get a profitable business, which obviously would be driving quite a bit of upside to where the models are today?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: Remember, the 7160, we gave you a series of products that it’s shipping in. And on the 7260, which will qualify this quarter, we gave you a list of OEM partners that have committed to that platform. So, we’re fairly confident that the ramp in the second half of this year will continue on that product. And it is a leadership product.

SoFIA, you’re right, is built at TSMC. We went for speed and integration. And it was simply quicker to get to market with a competitive product from both a price and performance. We actually believe that the IA core will give us better performance than the competition. And the competition is at that same node at TSMC. And it’s 3G at the end of this year and LTE in the first half of next year.

We then told you that in the second half of next year — and again, we’re debating whether it’s the second half or the first quarter of 2016, but we’ll move all of that internal on to 14-nanometers. And it’s really based on other products that we have moving in at that time and just overall resources all right.

We had a lot going on — the ramp of Broadwell, the ramp of Skylake in the second half of next year, plus bringing these products inside. But I’m very confident that when you do that, plus you add in Broxton, which is targeted towards the mid to high range and again is integrated with leading-edge LTE.

And don’t forget we have a roadmap of LTE products beyond the 7260 that continue the level of carrier aggregation and product leadership. We’re fairly confident that we can continue to grow this business and turn it profitable over that time.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: And let me just comment on the question about the long-term profitability. It sounds basic, but it really stems from our manufacturing leadership. If we’re two years ahead of the rest of the industry, and extending it gives us the ability that, as we target our products into the right space from a power standpoint, we will have power advantage or performance advantage and a cost advantage.

That really is our strategy playing out. You’re seeing the first products hitting that theme over the course of this year and into early next year. Bay Trail is a really good product. For the high end of the market, you’ll see products coming into the market that are more targeted at the mid-range and lower end of the market next year. But that’s how the strategy plays out.

I’d say for 2015, I would expect to see reduction in the loss. Not profitability, but a reduction in the loss will feel pretty good when we get there and then we’ll keep driving towards the long-term profitability goal.

Stacy Rasgon – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co:  I’d like to drill in a bit more. I’m actually into the tablet efforts now. So, we’re obviously subsidizing. And I get the idea of reducing BOM cost in order to make up for the deficiencies with the idea being that you can drive improved product set down the road.

But at the same time, if you look at the tablet market, where it is today, you’re obviously not going to be going after Apple any time soon. Maybe there’s a little bit of volume at Samsung. But I mean if you take those guys out, 75% of what’s left is systems that are $250 and below, where your competitors are shipping quad-core chips for much less than $10.

I’m curious to know what kind of economics and pricing you see from that market long-term. And are the — I guess the total revenue pool and profit pool that’s available, even if you were to succeed at your goals, why does that make it a worthwhile effort to actually go after? Or is this simply, as you said, strategic? Is this an attempt to limit further penetration of tablets into the core market?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: You’ve asked a question that has multiple questions built into it. But let’s start with what we told you was we’ve got multiple OEM partners building tablets and phones on our products. And we gave you Asus and Dell and Lenovo and Samsung on those products.

If you look at the tablet business overall, it’s broken up into a series of segments. And you’re right; there is a large percentage of them that are $250 and below. Products like SoFIA are specifically designed for that segment.

And our dual-core SoFIA already performs quite well against quad-core systems. As we move into next year, we’ll bring quad-core SoFIA-based products out, as well. And so we believe that we can stay very cost competitive and have a performance leadership.

Remember, Intel has two assets. We have our silicon technology, but we also have our architecture. And one of the things an OEM gets when they build with Intel technology is that they can go into any OS and they can build a single platform and move that on to Chrome, on to Android, on to Windows. And that’s a very unique capability that we provide to OEMs for flexibility.

So, we believe with a product like SoFIA, as we bring that into the market next year, we can absolutely compete in those spaces and make money. You’re probably not going to make as much revenue dollars and as much margin dollars as the PC business, but we think this is still critical. And it’s critical for a variety of reasons. Part of it is simply the scale. You want to have those units. You want to have a presence in all areas of computing.

And the second one is developer attention. You want developers creating new products, doing innovation on your architecture. This is a space that’s got innovation. We are going to bring some of that innovation to this market. You’re going to see some tablets as you go into the end of this year.

We showed them at CES, some of the highlights where you have 3D cameras, you have perceptual computing capabilities for gaming. All of those kinds of things can change the tablet market, along with the PC market.

So, we believe that we can bring a lot of the innovation that we do in the PC down into the tablet space. And again, that keeps the developers developing and interested in our platform. I think for all of those reasons, we want to be in this space and we will be in this space from now on.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: That was very complete, but we don’t fear the low end of the market. You look at how we played out in PCs. You can drive a lot of unit growth by participating in PCs now that are $199 to $250. We can have the cost structure because of our manufacturing lead to participate nicely there. And you see that as markets mature, they also segment.

And so we have look, you look at our PC business, we have great demand and profitability in core I7s and it spans down to Bay Trail at the Atom segment of the market. So, it’s a misconception to think that we only want to play at the high end. Our manufacturing leadership can give us the cost structure to play profitably at the low end, as well.

Mark Lipacis – Jefferies: Brian, when you talk about the 40 million unit bogey on tablets this year, could you go through the taxonomy of that a little bit? To what extent do you think this is Windows versus Android? And what’s the class of product you think will represent the mode or the mean? Like where do you think your sweet spot is going to be this year on tablets?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: Our mix of OSs reflects pretty much what you see in the marketplace. So, I think, depending on how you look at it, it’s probably something on the order of 90% Android, 80% Android, 10% to 20% Windows.

Our percentages look very much like the marketplace. So, if Windows continues to grow and gain traction I think our percentage would just align directly to that. So, you can — don’t separate what we ship from what’s basically in the marketplace. We’re leadership capability on all of the OSs now.

As far as what is the price point, again, it reflects fairly close to what the marketplace is. You see us in systems below $100 now. The majority of the systems are say $125 to $250, somewhere in there. And then you see us in some of the upper end systems, $250 to $400. And so — but the majority is in that — I’d call it, $125 to probably $250 range.

Mark Lipacis – Jefferies: And then as a follow-up, did you discuss, do you expect to have the Android tablets ramping in volume this quarter? Are we going to be — should we expect to see the Bay Trail Android products at Computex this year? When do we really see the material ramp in the Android products?

Brian M. Krzanich – CEO: Sure, absolutely. You can go out to the store today and buy an Android — in fact, I’d love you to go buy one of the 40 million we’ll sell. But, yes, you can buy Android. It continues to ramp through this quarter. At Computex, we’ll show a series of Android and Windows-based tablets. And they just continue to ramp through this year. But they’re on shelves today. I saw them in the store this weekend.

Stacy J. Smith – EVP and CFO: The majority of the 5 million units, for example, are Android. Just as Brian said, it more or less follows the distribution between Windows and Android.

Bloomberg (Businessweek) legitimizes Allwinner and Rockchip as challengers to Intel and Qualcomm via the tablet space, as well as Spreadtrum in the smartphone space

Although the title is just:

  1. Qualcomm, Intel Threatened as Allwinner Nabs Tablet Share [Bloomberg, March 17, 2014]
  2. Qualcomm, Intel Threatened as Allwinner Gains Tablet Share: Tech [BloombergBusinessweek, March 17, 2014]

Note that for me there is nothing new about those titles as I introduced a whole new blog to the “Allwinner phenomenon” as evidenced with a specially designed banner on the right here:

And the first post of mine, “Hello world! Here is the Allwinner SoC and the ecosystem built around it”, was created 16 months ago, on November 26, 2012. For very well founded reasons which were explained in quite a detail in that post. Please read them as you will learn much more about the Allwinner case than from the whole Bloomberg (Businessweek) articles. Your interest will be more satisfied with quite a number of additional posts in January 2014, October 2013, September 2013, June 2013, April 2013, March 2013, January 2013 and December 2012.

Allwinner’s success is explained now in the Bloomberg (Businessweek) articles by the following quote:

Local chipmakers benefit from their proximity to the device manufacturers because it bolsters their ability to anticipate and react to new features that are in demand, said Ben El-Baz, head of U.S. marketing for Allwinner.

“Shenzhen is really the electronics hub for the world,” El-Baz said in a phone interview. “We are so close to the market that we’re able to come out with new solutions faster than our competitors. We can do it at lower cost.”

as well as the fact that:

The surge in cheaper devices hasn’t gone unnoticed by more established computer makers. Hewlett-Packard this year began selling the HP 8, a $170 tablet that runs on an Allwinner quad-core processor.

In [1], however, the internal text contains reference to Rockchip as well:

Note that this same blog of mine started to recognize Rockchip 2 years ago with MWC 2012: Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics post which was followed 10 months later with another one claiming no less than China’s HW engineering lead: The Rockchip RK292 series (RK2928 and RK2926) example. Under the Rockchip tag you could find even more recent ones.

Intel Corp. (INTC) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), the two largest U.S. chipmakers, are under threat in the fastest-growing part of the tablet market from a band of upstarts with names like Allwinner Technology Co. and Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co. that are little known outside southern China.

Allwinner, based in Zhuhai near the manufacturing center of Shenzhen, became the No. 2 tablet-processor maker behind Apple Inc. in 2012 as demand for cheaper tablets stoked sales of its low-cost chips, according to IDC. Qualcomm ranks third, while Intel comes in at No. 6, following Rockchip.

Success at Allwinner, which was founded in 2007, and Rockchip, established in 2001, is being driven by increasing demand for inexpensive tablets in their home market, where some devices sell for as little as $50, and in other developing economies. Sales of tablets that retail for less than $150 and don’t carry a brand name will rise 36 percent this year, IDC estimates, driving a 22 percent increase in total tablet shipments. The market for tablet processors grew 32 percent in 2013 to $3.6 billion, according to Strategy Analytics.

Allwinner accounted for 18.2 million of the 88.3 million tablet processors shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, IDC said. That was more than three times what Santa Clara, California-based Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, shipped in the same period. Rockchip sold 9 million.

Rockchip representatives didn’t return messages for comment.

Update: China’s Parallel Universe [EE Times, March 26, 2014]

SHENZHEN, China — When I’m in China, I often feel as though I’ve dropped into a parallel universe. But worse, once I get back to the good old US of A, I feel even more lost.

This is because I run smack-dab into Western-centric preconceived views on market trends, design requirements, and market leaders that don’t often apply to China.

When I recently sat down with Eva Wu, marketing manager of Allwinner Technology in Zhuhai, she set the record straight. “Yes,” she told me, “there were 10 apps processor vendors in China, all competing for the tablet market in 2012. But by early 2014, those dominating the tablet market are now pretty much down to only three companies — Allwinner, RockChip, and MediaTek.”

I have always felt that a winnowing-down among China’s apps processor vendors was necessary and would happen sooner or later. But I didn’t expect such a drastic change so quickly.

The following table, compiled by Chinese industry sources, is a snapshot of China’s tablet apps processor market. The 2014 market forecast shows a clear upward trend for Taiwan’s MediaTek, doubling shipments and holding its own in China.

Tablet Application Processor Vendors for Chinese Tabletsimage
Source: Compilations of China’s industry data

It’s easy for the Western players to dismiss what’s happening in China, on the presumption that “those guys are playing only in the Tier 2 market.”

Know your tier 2 players
Maybe so, but I find that knowing your Tier 2 players (the guy below you on the ladder) is vitally important. Some of those players are very ambitious and climbing fast. They have no intention to remain Tier 2 forever.

Allwinner’s Wu proudly told me that Allwinner was the first AP vendor to achieve the Android 4.4 Google Mobile Service certification. Noting that the certification tells the world the stability of Allwinner’s apps processor, Wu said, “You have to pass the certification test in order to play in the US market. US retailers like Walmart or BestBuy wouldn’t accept the products without it.”

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Wu noted that Allwinner’s apps processors are getting designed into Tier 1 tablets — such as Sony’s tablet projectors and Samsung’s tablet designed for printers.

Parallel universe for STB SoCs
Meanwhile, the same parallel universe characterizes the set-top box world. Over here in China, the so-called over-the-top (OTT) market has exploded as Internet companies like Alibaba have gone whole-hog with video services over the Internet. This dates back to the third quarter last year.

The OTT market is growing fast, according to Wu, with as many as 2 million OTT boxes sold in a month at its peak.

For Chinese consumers, there are three ways to receive digital video services. They’re available on smart TVs, which cost around 10,000 RMB (US$1,630). Another route is OTT boxes, priced between 200 and 300 RMB ($33 to $49). The last option is an Android USB stick that you can plug into a TV, selling for between 100 and 200 RMB ($16 to $33).

To Chinese vendors comparing tablet SoCs with IP set-top SoCs, it’s clear that key subsystems — including CPU and GPU — are already common. Allwinner is among many Chinese vendors leveraging their tablet SoCs to enter the exploding OTT market.

Of course, back in the USA, leading cable set-top chip vendors like Broadcom have a very different view of the set-top box market. When I chatted with Stephen Palm, senior technical director at Broadband Technology Group, this week, he pointed out that requirements in today’s set-tops in the West are nothing like what current mobile SoCs are capable of handling.

End of update

while both articles contain a whole paragraph devoted to Spreadtrum as well:

Note that this same blog of mine started to recognize Spreadtrum 27 months ago with World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum post which was followed 7 months later with another one claiming no less than Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets. Under the Spreadtrum tag you could find even more recent ones.

Spreadtrum’s Relationships

Like MediaTek, Shanghai-based Spreadtrum Communications Inc. is building on its relationship with handset makers serving the China market and exporting from there. The company, founded in 2001, supplies both processors and modems for smartphones that can retail for as little as $25, said Diana Jovin, a U.S.- based vice president at Spreadtrum.

Her company, which is owned by the Chinese government, has learned that quickly providing adaptable solutions is needed to succeed in a rapidly changing market, she said.

“A significant part of the mobile-handset ecosystem is centered in China,” Jovin said. “We’re the only vendor located in China serving those customers. We’ve expanded our portfolio quite rapidly and have the breadth and depth to compete effectively on a global basis.”

Spreadtrum, which has supplied chips used in Samsung’s Galaxy Star model and HTC Corp.’s Desire, is looking to build on its China base just as Qualcomm, the largest maker of semiconductors used in phones, is trying replicate its worldwide market dominance in that country, the biggest global mobile-phone market.

Regarding the question how the western chipmakers could meet these challenges:

Intel Priority

Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich — who has made catching up in mobile computing a priority since taking over the company in May — said he’s aiming to quadruple tablet-chip sales to 40 million this year and processors from his company will make their way into devices costing less than $100. To speed adoption, Intel will provide tablet makers with subsidies — what it calls “contra revenue” — to make the cost of its chips competitive. That will cut into profitability this year.

Kathy Gill, a spokeswoman for Intel, said the company is “absolutely accelerating” its roadmap for its Atom line of low-power, low-cost processors for phones, tablets and budget laptops.

New Chips

Qualcomm has already responded to the demand for lower-cost devices made in China with new chips, said Cristiano Amon, the head of the company’s chip division.

The adoption of a faster wireless-data technology called long-term evolution, or LTE, particularly by No. 1 wireless carrier China Mobile Ltd., will open the door for Qualcomm, the San Diego-based company says. While other companies including Intel, MediaTek and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) have announced LTE-capable chips, Qualcomm has been in the market for more than two years and has 100 percent market share in devices that have integrated modems, according to IDC.

Qualcomm’s Edge

Qualcomm’s advantage in LTE modem chips will be tough to beat. Unlike for stand-alone processors, there’s no source of off-the-shelf modem designs [there is, however, highly advanced semiconductor IP on the market with CEVA as the lead vendor in that space which is dating back to CEVA Introduces Low Power, Multi-Mode LTE-Advanced Reference Architecture for the New CEVA-XC4000 DSP Architecture Framework [press release, Feb 21, 2012] – you can find more about that in The future of the semiconductor IP ecosystem post of mine], and building one takes years of experience, testing and qualification work with phone-service providers, according to Will Strauss, an analyst at Mesa, Arizona-based Forward Concepts Co.

In processors, “everybody can get in, thanks to ARM and the ease of implementing your own applications processor. They’ve lowered the bar,” Strauss said. At the same time, “the barrier for entry for LTE modems is still very, very high.”

The articles end, however, with a kind of gloomy outlook for the leadiong Western chipmakers:

I would be much more sceptical about the Western SoC vendors’ capabilities to withstand the onslaught of Chinese SoC vendors (including MediaTek). Even the “lack of modem technology” argument given above applies only to a limited degree as:

See more in:
Chinese smartphone brands to conquer the global market? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 18, 2014]

Still, Chinese companies have created an obstacle that their more established rivals may struggle to overcome, said Jim McGregor, an analyst at Tirias Research. While the volumes are huge in China and emerging markets, the devices’ low prices leave little room for profits — particularly for companies like Qualcomm and Intel that have shareholders who are accustomed to wide margins, he said.

“We are not just talking about a billion here, but several billion units,” McGregor said. “It’s foolish to avoid that kind of market. The problem is with a publicly traded company, it’s against their instincts to go for it.”

MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC

wPAN = wireless Personal Area Network    
In case of MediaTek a wPAN is organised around the smartphone. Take special note of the new ANT/ANT+ wearable link, Bluetooth 4.1 or Bluetooth Low Energy as called otherwise, as well as the 802.11ac Wi-Fi and multi-system GNSS technologies, all described in this post as new ones with roles in wPANs/IoT.
IoT = Internet of Things

Update: Shipment ratio of 8-core smartphone solutions to be lower in 2014 [DIGITIMES, March 13, 2014]

The shipment ratio of 8-core processors to total smartphone solution shipments will not be higher in 2014 as brand and white-box handset vendors in China will still prefer to use quad-core models in order to build their share in the entry-level to mid-range segment, according to industry sources.
While Samsung Electronics has been more upbeat about sales of 8-core smartphones, it remains unknown whether shipments of the Galaxy S5 will be as brisk as expected, said the sources.
Although a number of handset vendors in China have voiced their support for MediaTek’s 8-core CPUs, few of them have completed the design-in process for 8-core models, which will limit shipments of 8-core processors in 2014, revealed the sources.
Additionally, MediaTek has maintained a price gap between quad-core and 8-core CPUs in order to continue ramping up shipments of its quad-core solutions, said the sources, adding that MediaTek is also unlikely to adopt an aggressive price strategy to promote 8-core CPUs for the time being.
Since suppliers of 8-core chips are limited and demand for the top-end 8-core smartphones is getting lower, shipments of 8-core solutions are unlikely to ramp up until 2015, the sources commented.

First let’s look at the current standing of MediaTek on the market, and then at their strategy and products in Mediatek@MWC 2014: Jeffrey Ju, Head of Smartphones, Pre-MWC Presentation [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 5, 2014]:

Jeffrey Ju, Mediatek Head of Smartphones, talks about new product announcements at an exclusive invitation-only event for press and analysts ahead of Mobile World Congress.

imageNote that at this MWC event for the press and
analysts Ju’s presentation was the 2nd one, following a repositioning/rebranding presentation by Johan Lodenius, CMO of MediaTek which will be embedded here later on.

Note: As the MT6595 was announced earlier it has been presented with all related details in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

Just 4 slides from that presentation in order to show here what kind of giant MediaTek is:

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Then Mediatek@MWC 2014: Words from the media at the Fabrica Moritz Launch Event [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

Mediatek hosted an exclusive invitation-only event for press and analysts ahead of Mobile World Congress to unveil the new Everyday Genius campaign and its forthcoming product announcements. Find out what the media thought about the new direction and products announced by Mediatek.

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from PDF, also available as MediaTek to focus more on western markets as it targets Qualcomm
Watch also: Interview – CFO, MediaTek [Mobile World Live, March 3, 2014]

Targeting Qualcomm with products announced at MWC 2013 for the “super-mid market” just being born:
64-bit quad-core LTE SoC MT6732 [MediaTek press release, Feb 24, 2014]

MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best user experiences and fully connected does not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to power devices that accelerate the global demographic and cultural transformation. Inclusiveness is such an important part of MediaTek’s vision, which is why we strive to put technology in the hands of everyone, to enable everyone to be an everyday genius.

Following the launch of the world’s first 4G LTE Octa-core smartphone SOC – MT6595 – earlier this month*, we are quickly expanding our LTE offering across a range of performance points to meet the growing demand for smartphone devices across all markets. The MT6732 provides excellent performance and a very comprehensive feature set.

…added Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

* The 32-bit octa-core LTE SoC MT6595 is to be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year. See the details in the roadmap slide following the MT6732/MT6752 spacifications (the table below), as well as in the press release included in the end of this post.

Update: MT6732—64-bit LTE SOC with ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cluster and Mali-T760 GPU [product page, March 13, 2014]

Overview

MediaTek MT6732 targets the rising ‘super-mid ‘market with LTE and a next-generation coherent 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 cluster and Mali™-T760 GPU.

Features

64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor
  • ARM Mali-T760 GPU with Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 support

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Low-power 1080p video playback at 30sps
  • H.265 and H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording 
  • 13MP camera image signal processor with PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices 
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42Mbit/s downlink, 11Mbit/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power connections to fitness gadgets, wearables and other wireless accessories

64-bit octa-core LTE SoC MT6752 [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2014]

“The MT6752 is part of our commitment to provide high performance yet cost effective solutions, accelerating the global demographic and cultural transformation for the Super-mid market. We continue to democratize technology as previously seen in the TV and DVD industries. We launched world’s first true octa-core solution in November 2013 and now we continue to extend our lead to deliver on our vision to make the world a more inclusive place,”  said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

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This is how the latest SoCs fit into the traditional roadmap (leaked in China) structure from which the new “super-mid market” is going to be born (according to MediaTek):

imageSee the MT6595 details in the press release included in the end of this post. Alternatively all details are provided in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

The essence of this repositioning: Mediatek – Everyday Genius [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 23, 2014]

We’re Mediatek. We make the technology that’s at the heart of the things you use every day, from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and wearable devices. Technology solves problems and makes exciting new things possible. It makes us smarter in ways we don’t always expect, enabling us to do more — and enjoy more. At Mediatek, we believe technology can fulfill the potential that’s inside all of us and that’s why we’re making the world a more inclusive place. We want technology to be accessible to everybody. We want everyone to be an Everyday Genius.

From Everyday Genius [MediaTek campaign page, Feb 22, 2014]

Introducing Everyday Genius

The world is becoming a more connected place and MediaTek is making it happen. Our technology not only powers the smartphones and tablets helping people around the world get online for the first time, but also the Smart TVs and wearable technology that offer completely new ways to communicate. We’re even working hard to bring the Internet of Things to life, where everything and everyone can talk to each other using the internet. MediaTek makes life easier and more enjoyable, often in ways we couldn’t even imagine a few years ago. Our technology expands horizons and creates new opportunities to discover more about the world. We’re giving rise to a new generation of coders, unlocking new creative talent and inventing new ways of doing business — and we want to do it for everyone. With the right help, we believe anyone can achieve something amazing, even if it’s just in a small way. And we believe they can do it every single day. We call this idea Everyday Genius and everything we do is dedicated to making it happen.

What we do — and why we do it

MediaTek is a fabless semiconductor company, which is another way of saying we design chips for electronic devices that our partners manufacture. Our expertise is in shrinking multiple components into a chip no larger than your fingernail. So where anything from a DVD player to a smartphone used to require a complex array of chips to perform their many sophisticated tasks, they can now do the same thing with just one or two. This tight integration of components makes all kinds of technology much more efficient and the more efficient something is, the more it can do with even less resources. More importantly, it makes technology affordable to all. Making technology more affordable and more accessible is something MediaTek is deeply committed to — and something that’s at the very heart of Everyday Genius.

imageThe repositioning/rebranding presentation which was actually the 1st one at the event for the press and analysts: MWC 2014 Cocktail Party – [MediaTek] CMO Johan Lodenius Presentation [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

We have been on a fast moving journey since 1997.
Now we are taking our game to the next level with our products, business models and marketing.
The new branding is the foundation and this is the kick-off, but it’s just the beginning!

There is a huge transformation going on in the marketplace.
Emerging markets are disappearing and the general view in the west of the developing world is being challenged. This means a lot more opportunity for everyone, wherever you are.

Everyday Genius is the great outcome of the new all-inclusive connected mobile world.
For the first time it’s a level playing field, we can all be an Everyday Genius in this day and age.
– Whoever we are, wherever we are;
– Whatever our interests and desires are.

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Subsidies are being to be replaced by new buy-back and trade-in incentive programs. … Average prices will have to be adjusted to more normal, commoditized market levels

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Android is now in over eighty percent of the world’s smartphones. That’s my own calculation because it was seventy-nine percent according to Strategy Analysis at the end of 2013. Android works the same way in all devices across phones and tablets creating a uniformed user experience. There’s more differentiation in the apps than in the OS itself. This means that Android is a great user experience leveller cross price tiers as the world is flattening.

All this gives strong reasons to believe that the current market structure is going to change, radically:image

The super-mid market is born, fueled by global middle-class growth and the key industry changes we just talked about. We characterize super-mid as eighty percent in the middle with two dotted lines as boundaries at the opposite ends. The low boundary is set at 79 dollars, and the high boundary at 399 dollars. … This means that at the top of the range performance products are being pushed down into the super-mid, and price levels are getting adjusted.

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Mediatek@MWC 2014: Everyone can be an Everyday Genius [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

Mediatek introduced its new Everyday Genius campaign at Mobile World Congress 2014. Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer, explains the rationale behind the concept and how it addresses the needs of the new super-mid market segment that has emerged.

Mediatek@MWC 2014: Internet of Things, Wearable Technology, Wireless Charging and more. [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 5, 2014]

In addition to a new brand identity, Mediatek introduced a number of new products at Mobile World Congress 2014. Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer, talks about resonance wireless charging, wearable technology, the Internet of Things, the new high powered MT6595 mobile chip and the company’s ambitions.
Note that the MT6595 was announced earlier, and also has been presented in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

resonance wireless charging: MediaTek MT3188 Multi-Mode Wireless Charging ASIC Supports Inductive and Resonant Modes [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

MediaTek today announced MT3188, the world’s first multi-mode wireless charging ASIC that supports multiple competing standards. MediaTek MT3188 is a tightly-integrated solution that supports resonant charging technology and is fully compatible with current inductive chargers certified by the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

Key features

  • Compatible with existing PMA and WPC inductive standards as well as emerging resonant wireless standard A4WP
  • Ultra-compact design for smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices
  • Highly integrated, with an optimized bill of materials that requires no external active components
  • Supports out-of band communications in resonant mode (A4WP)
  • Provides the option of in-band communications in resonant mode for applications where a Bluetooth transceiver is not available
  • Operates stand alone or with Mediatek MT6595, MT6732 or other systems on a chip
  • Sampling now, with first commercial devices expected in Q3 2014

“With resonant charging, MediaTek makes consumer lives better. The devices can be placed in any position on a resonant charging mat and one mat can simultaneously charge multiple devices with different power needs at their optimum rates,” said Mark Estabrook, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at MediaTek. “Resonant charging also works through non-metallic materials, so there’s no need to remove a smartphone case before charging and the chargers can be built easily into furniture and vehicles.”  

MediaTek’s in-band communication technology for power control provides a simple and reliable way to add resonant wireless charging support to a whole host of consumer devices where Bluetooth transceivers may not be available for out-of-band communication, such as ebook readers, noise-cancelling headphones and even spare batteries.

MediaTek MT3188 requires no external active components and its highly-optimized bill of materials (BOM) is comparable to best-in-class WPC inductive solutions. The solution can be mounted on a mobile device’s main PCB or battery cover, and provides a programmable output voltage from 1.5V to 5V at 1.4A (7.0W maximum). MT3188 is powered wholly by the charger and works even with a completely discharged battery.

MediaTek is an active contributor to the wireless charging standards community, and is co-vice chair for resonant technology at PMA and a member of WPC. Mediatek is also a member of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) — a not-for-profit organisation that supports Rezence™ resonant charging technology.

MediaTek MT3188 is sampling now and expected to feature in commercial devices within Q3 2014.

More information: The convenience of wireless charging: It’s just physics [MediaTek whitepaper by Mark Estabrook, Jan 10, 2014]

wearable technology: MediaTek to Showcase Multiple New Products and Technologies at CES 2014 [press release, Jan 3, 2014]

MediaTek presents the all-in-one solution for wearables, Aster. It is not only the smallest SOC with high integration, but provides also a comprehensive Application Framework, MRE (MediaTek Run-time Environment) that allows users to install and upgrade APPs.

Internet of Things
Cloud applications, video over Wi-Fi (VoW), indoor positioning and smart home automation

MediaTek Going Wearable, Chinese & Cheap [EE Times, Jan 31, 2014]

MediaTek is quietly going after the emerging market of under-$50 wearable devices.

The company’s new “all-in-one” SoC, called Aster, is sampling now only to a select group of customers. The chip is not officially announced yet, with no datasheets or block diagrams publicly available.

Aster integrates ARM7 ESJ, Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth Low Energy, power management IC, and memory (4 Mbytes of flash and 4 Mbytes of SRAM). Housed in a 5.4 x 6 mm package, MediaTek describes Aster as the “smallest SoC” with “highest integration” for wearable devices.

Aster also comes with a comprehensive Application Framework. Its Run-Time Environment will make it easy for users to install and upgrade apps and run them on wearable devices, according to MediaTek.

With an ear close to the ground in China, Taiwan’s consumer chip behemoth MediaTek appears to know about something not readily evident to most system vendors and chip companies in the West: a surge in Chinese consumer demand for new gizmos designed to leverage the power of smartphones.

“Innovation can come up very quickly in China compared to Western society,” Cliff Lin, senior director of MediaTek’s US corporate marketing, told EE Times.

Let a thousand flowers bloom
MediaTek’s Aster, together with the company’s wearable “turnkey solutions,” is designed to let a thousand flowers bloom in a number of new consumer devices, ranging from a Bluetooth dialer to a smartwatch. These devices are meant to be wirelessly connected to a smartphone, a device already ubiquitous.

It’s important to note that these wearable devices MediaTek has in mind are not positioned to replace smartphones — an idea sharply divergent from the hopeful thinking, more popular in the West, that wearable devices will supplant phones.

A Bluetooth dialer, for example, is, technically, not a phone. But the sleek, convenient device helps a user dial or receive a call without forcing her to haul a bulky tablet or phablet out of her bag.

Some in the industry, especially in the West, might argue that calling such a device — whose function appears to be simply a remote-control unit inside an already available smartphone — “wearable” is an overstatement.

After all, today’s wearable devices, if loosely defined, are all over the map — ranging from wristwatches, shoes, and glasses to headbands, clothing, and home healthcare devices — with no killer wearable form factor on the horizon, at least not yet.

Different wearable devices demand a different set of sensors. They also come in different shapes and sizes, as they will be worn on different parts of the body. Their evolutionary trajectory suggests that they will be far more diverse and complex than mere remote-control units in smartphones.

And the fact is, many smartwatches on the market today are designed for just that purpose. Besides email, voice mail, and social network message notifications, a smartwatch can control various functions of a smartphone remotely.

MediaTek’s Lin added that its Aster is even capable of offering a “viewfinder function” on a wearable device, when wirelessly connected to a smartphone’s camera. By reducing the image size, the picture can be transferred via Bluetooth from a camera in the smartphone to a small display of the new smartwatch. It allows a user to remotely frame a picture right on a smartwatch display, instead of awkwardly tilting a bulky phablet in the air.

Although MediaTek displayed Aster at its suite during the International CES earlier this month, the company is not giving out any more details of the SoC. When asked about its price, Lin noted that Aster is “suitably priced for end-products ranging from $20 to $50.” The SoC’s mass production is slated for the third quarter of 2014.

Internet of Things: MediaTek and ANT Create New Opportunities for Connected Lifestyle, Health and Home Management [ANT Wireless press release, Feb 26, 2014

New chip links mobile platform innovators to millions of available ANT+ wearables and devices

ANT Wireless, proven innovator in ultra low power (ULP) short range wireless technology and ANT+ interoperability, and MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company of wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announce native support for the ANT wireless protocol in MediaTek’s new MT6630 5-in-1 combo connectivity chip. Targeted for premium smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices aligned with the super-mid category of chips, the single chip MT6630 allows integrators to link end users to the millions of leading ANT+ wearables and products for sport, fitness and health as well as smart home and location based service devices.

The feature-rich MT6630 combines the latest connectivity options in a low power, small footprint chip including 802.11ac Wi-Fi, ANT, Bluetooth 4.1, multi-system GNSS, [Global Navigation Satellite System may also refer to GLONASS], and FM. Delivering full concurrent operation of all five systems, the MT6630 offers the advanced capabilities of ANT+ interoperability and connection to the vast array of certified ANT+ devices including monitors and software that track activity, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle oxygen, running, cycling, swimming, hiking, weight, etc..  ANT wireless communication will also facilitate the expanding connected use cases in home and industrial environments.

“MediaTek is committed to bringing an optimal experience to the digital home and mobile applications.  ANT complements our unique leadership position,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit.  “ANT will continue to be a driver of wireless and wearable solutions for the Internet of Things.  MediaTek’s inclusion of this established protocol gives manufacturers and their consumers simple and direct access to these innovative ANT+ products.”

“Our collaboration with MediaTek greatly expands access to more ANT+ enabled phones and ANT+ sensors, in more markets and regions, which is fantastic for everyone:  mobile OEMs, ANT+ product manufacturers, and consumers,” added Rod Morris, Vice President, ANT Wireless.  “The result will be a great range of offerings and best-in-class lifestyle products worldwide.”  

MediaTek will be demonstrating ANT+ in combination with the MT6630 solution at Mobile World Congress, Feb 24-27, Hall 6, Stand 6E11. The MT6630 is sampling now and the first commercially available devices to use MT6630 IC’s are expected in the second half of 2014.  ANT Wireless is also exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, February 24 – 27, Hall 7, Stand 7M49.

Celebrating over ten years in ultra low power wireless technology, ANT also offers its expanded suite of ANT+ Plugins for Android applications to app developers and manufacturers selecting the MT6630.   ANT+ Plugins eliminate the need for ANT+ profile development and technical expertise and facilitate the path to seamless ANT+ connectivity.

###

About MediaTek
MediaTek is a pioneering fabless semiconductor company, and a market leader in cutting-edge systems on a chip for wireless communications, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray. MediaTek created the world’s first octa-core smartphone platform with LTE and its CorePilotTM technology released the full power of multi-core mobile processors. MediaTek [TSE:2454] is headquartered in Taiwan and has offices worldwide. Please visit www.Mediatek.com for more information.  Press Office:  PR@Mediatek.com  +1 650 283 2781

About ANT / ANT+ (www.thisisant.com**)
ANT is a proven protocol and silicon solution for ultra low power (ULP) practical wireless networking applications. ANT+ is the pervasive ULP wireless technology facilitating the capture of critical market share in the exploding mobile sensor sector. With over 100 million devices in the market, ANT+ facilitates interoperability between ANT+ devices and the collection, automatic transfer and tracking of sensor data. This standardized communication platform enables quick-to-market solutions for application developers, sensor manufacturers and cell phone makers. ANT+ has amassed an ecosystem of world-class technology vendors in the ANT+ Alliance, an open special interest group of companies who have adopted the ANT+ promise of interoperability. These industry leaders offer readily-available brand name products for sport, wellness management and home health monitoring. 

** Note that the web pages of www.thisisant.com describe ANT as:
ANT is a Wireless Personal Network [otherwise wPAN] protocol, by Dynastream Innovations Inc., with small size, reasonable cost and Very Low Power requirements.

My insert here: ANT+, from technology to the ecosystem [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Oct 13, 2010], read also on Wikipedia:
ANT (a proprietary  open access  multicast  wireless sensor network  technology)
ANT+ (an interoperability function that can be added to the base ANT protocol)

ANT+ business development manager, Dallin Doney, walks you through ANT technology to many branded ANT+ products in sports, fitness and wellness. Products showcased are from Adidas, A&D, Digifit, Garmin, Star Trac, Tanita, Timex and Wahoofitness

The company behind ANT Wireless is Dynastream Innovations Inc. (www.dynastream.com).   Dynastream was established in 1998 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. in December 2006. Dynastream is based in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, and is a world innovator in the research and development of inertial and wireless technology.

ANT+ Product Directory (www.thisisant.com/directory)
The ANT+ Product Directory is a complete inventory of all ANT+ certified or verified products. It is a tool designed specifically to help consumers source hundreds of industry-leading devices and all compatible products within the vast ANT+ ecosystem. Devices may be searched by product name, brand, activity or product category, allowing the consumer to create a monitoring system that meets their specific needs.

To get some idea watch these ANT-related videos
(see more in http://www.thisisant.com/news/video-gallery/):
– for lifestyle:  Technology in Fitness – Enhancing the User Experience! [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

FIT-C President, Bryan O’Rourke, and ANT Wireless Sales Manager, Paul Lockington, discuss technology in fitness, the opportunities, and the need to enhance the user experience through data monitoring and wearable technologies. http://www.thisisant.com http://www.bryankorourke.com

– for health: 4iiii Innovation’s Cliiiimb System Demo [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

4iiii’s Product Manager, Alana Baxter, demonstrates the new Cliiiimb system – an ANT+ enabled KOM experience powered by Strava that combines Sportiiiis heads-up audio visual display, Viiiiva heart rate monitor with iPhone connectivity. http://www.thisisant.com. http://www.4iiii.com.

– for home management: ANT Lighting Control Demo [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, July 31, 2013]

ANT Wireless Global Sales Manager, Mike Paradis, demonstrates the features of an ANT enabled lighting control system and explains the benefits of ANT/ANT+ home and industrial automation. For more information visit http://www.thisisant.com.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

new high powered MT6595: MediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support [press release, Feb 11, 2014]

Note: As the MT6595 was announced earlier it has been presented with all related details in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
• Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics

Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
• Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
• DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
• 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems
• World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
• Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
• MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
• MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac
• Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC
• Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
• Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MediaTek Drives Global LTE Adoption with New ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7 [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

Powered by MediaTek’s 4G LTE Platform, ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7 will be available in Q2 delivering high-speed data performance to consumers worldwide

image

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 23 February, 2014 – MediaTek and ALCATEL ONETOUCH today announce the LTE-enabled ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7, powered by MediaTek’s 4G LTE quad-core platform. Available in Q2 this year, the POP S7 launch will bring 4G LTE to the mass market at an affordable price point, and will further extend the product range for both ALCATEL ONETOUCH and MediaTek across their respective global portfolio of LTE devices.

The POP S7 features MediaTek’s 1.3GHz quad-core processor and multi-mode 4G LTE modem MT6290.  By combining fast 4G connectivity with a sharp and bright 5” IPS display, users can enjoy a truly immersive mobile experience with the POP S7 such as streaming high-definition video content. 

The MT6290 multimode 4G LTE modem embedded within POP S7 supports LTE Release 9 CAT 4, enabling data rates as high as 150Mbit/s downlink. The MT6290 modem is also compatible with FDD and TDD modes, as well as HSPA+, W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA, EDGE and GSM/GPRS radio technologies. 

“MediaTek is proud to again be selected to power the latest ALCATEL ONETOUCH smartphone. The new ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7, designed for the mass market and featuring our multimode 4G LTE modem, is the exciting first step for MediaTek to demonstrate its global capability in the fast growing LTE market.” said, Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of Smartphone Business Unit, MediaTek. “Our aim is to unleash the potential of everyone for the creation of a better world by maximizing the capacity of technology innovation,” Jeffrey added. 

Dan Dery, CMO of ALCATEL ONETOUCH added, “The POP S7 is the first entry-level LTE-enabled smartphone powered by MediaTek’s innovative technology, and we’re rolling out across EMEA, APAC and other regions. We foresee a huge increase in LTE adoption worldwide in 2014, and we are pleased to working in close collaboration with MediaTek to meet the market demand at the right time.”

The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on

… not suprisingly as it is built on the same micro-architecture. Even Intel will manufacture Cortex-A53 based SoCs for Altera (Stratix 10 FPGA SoCs) in 2015 on its leading edge Tri-Gate (FinFET) 14nm process.

With MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 21, 2013] MediaTek will follow up with a 4G LTE MT6595 version in January, and with a 64-bit version based on Cortex-A53 instead of Cortex-A7 in H2 CY14. In this way it will be able to compete head-on with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 in the most lucrative high-volume market.

imageAccording to 大陸4G啟動 聯發科快攻 [Commercial Times, Dec 10, 2013]: “MediaTek MT6590’s first 4G modem chip is expected to begin shipping next month, in addition to 4G systems integration single chip (SoC) MT6595 has appeared earlier this month in the customer’s specification sheet, and 8-core as the main design, not difficult to see MediaTek ambition to expand high-end market.

MediaTek delivering 4G LTE chips for verification, say paper [DIGITIMES, Dec 18, 2013]

MediaTek reportedly has delivered its first 4G LTE chip, the MT6590, to potential clients for verification. The chips are expected to begin generating revenues for the IC design house in the first quarter of 2014, according to a Chinese-language Liberty Times report. The MT6590 supports five modes and 10 frequency bands.

The news echoes earlier remarks by MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-chiang stating the company plans to launch 4G chips at year-end 2013 with end-market devices powered by the 4G chips to be available in the first quarter of 2014, the paper added.

Citing data from JPMorgan Chase, the paper said shipments of MediaTek’s first 8-core chip, the MT6592, are higher than expected and shipment momentum is likely to continue into the first quarter of 2014.

The latest news: Chipset vendors to showcase 64-bit smartphone solutions at CES 2014 [DIGITIMES, Dec 23, 2013]

Chipset players including Qualcomm, Nvidia, Marvell Technology and Broadcom all are expected to showcase 64-bit processors for smartphone applications at the upcoming CES 2014 trade show, a move which will add pressure on Taiwan-based MediaTek in its efforts to expand market share with its newly released 8-core CPUs, according to industry sources.

Qualcomm has already unveiled a 64-bit-chip, the Snapdragon 410, and is expected to begin sampling in the first half of 2014, according to the company.

Nvidia, which is familiar with 64-bit computing architectures, is expected to start volume production of 64-bit chips for smartphones in the first half of 2014 at the earliest, said industry sources.

Marvell and Broadcom are also expected to highlight their 64-bit chips at CES 2014, kicking off competition in the 64-bit chipset segment, note the sources.

Meanwhile, the vendors, as well as China-based chipset suppliers Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, will also exert efforts to take market share from MediaTek in the entry-level to mid-range chipset segment in 2014, commented the sources.

From: 64-bit smartphones to be ushered in 2014, say sources [DIGITIMES, Dec 11, 2013]

… Qualcomm has also claimed that the Snapdragon 410 will support all major operating systems, including Android, Windows Phone and Firefox OS and that Qualcomm Reference Design versions of the processor will be available to enable rapid development time and reduce OEM R&D, designed to provide a comprehensive mobile device platform. However, the observers noted that the Snapdragon 410 chips are aiming at the mid-range LTE smartphone segment, particularly the sub-CNY1,000 (US$165) sector in China. The launch of the mid-range 64-bit Snapdragon chips also aims to widen its lead against Taiwan-based rival MediaTek in the China market, the sources added. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 410 processor is expected to be in commercial devices in the second half of 2014. …

Samsung Electronics is also believed to be working on its own 64-bit CPUs in house and expected to launch 64-bit capable flagship models in the first half of 2014 at the earliest, said the observers.

The 64-bit versions of CPUs from MediaTek, Broadcom and Nvidia are likely to come in late 2014 or in 2015, added the sources.

Google is expected to accelerate the upgrading of its Android platform, providing an environment for software developers to work on related 64-bit applications, commented the sources.

Taiwan IC suppliers developing chips for MediaTek smartphone solutions [DIGITIMES, Dec 18, 2013]

MediaTek’s growing shipments of smartphone solutions, which are expected to top 200 million units in 2013 and 300 million units in 2014, have encouraged Taiwan-based suppliers of LCD driver ICs, power management ICs, ambient light sensors, gyroscopes, touchscreen controller ICs and MEMS microphones to develop chips that can be incorporated into these smartphone solutions, according to industry sources.

MediaTek has been focusing its R&D efforts on developments of 4- and 8-core and 4G CPUs as well as wireless chips in order to maintain its competitiveness, while relying on other IC vendors to complete its smartphone solution platforms, the sources noted.

With MediaTek’s smartphone solution shipments expected to reach 30 million units a month in 2014, any suppliers which can deliver IC parts for MediaTek’s smartphone platforms will see their revenues and profits grow substantially in 2014, the sources said.

Qualcomm Technologies Introduces Snapdragon 410 Chipset with Integrated 4G LTE World Mode for High-Volume Smartphones [press release, Dec 9, 2013]

4G LTE, 64-Bit Processing Expands Qualcomm Technologies’ Global Product Offerings and Reference Design Program

SAN DIEGO – December 09, 2013 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 chipset with integrated 4G LTE World Mode. The delivery of faster connections is important to the growth and adoption of smartphones in emerging regions, and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets are poised to address the needs of consumers as 4G LTE begins to ramp in China.

The new Snapdragon 410 chipsets are manufactured using 28nm process technology. They feature processors that are 64-bit capable along with superior graphics performance with the Adreno 306 GPU, 1080p video playback and up to a 13 Megapixel camera. Snapdragon 410 chipsets integrate 4G LTE and 3G cellular connectivity for all major modes and frequency bands across the globe and include support for Dual and Triple SIM. Together with Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, Snapdragon 410 chipsets will have multiband and multimode support. Snapdragon 410 chipsets also feature Qualcomm Technologies’ Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC functionality, and support all major navigation constellations: GPS, GLONASS, and China’s new BeiDou, which helps deliver enhanced accuracy and speed of Location data to Snapdragon-enabled handsets.

The chipset also supports all major operating systems, including the Android, Windows Phone and Firefox operating systems. Qualcomm Reference Design versions of the processor will be available to enable rapid development time and reduce OEM R&D, designed to provide a comprehensive mobile device platform. The Snapdragon 410 processor is anticipated to begin sampling in the first half of 2014 and expected to be in commercial devices in the second half of 2014.

Qualcomm Technologies also announced for the first time the intention to make 4G LTE available across all of the Snapdragon product tiers. The Snapdragon 410 processor gives the 400 product tier several 4G LTE options for high-volume mobile devices, as the third LTE-enabled solution in the product tier. By offering 4G LTE variants to its entry level smartphone lineup, Qualcomm Technologies ensures that emerging regions are equipped for this transition while also having every major 2G and 3G technology available to them. Qualcomm Technologies offers OEMs and operators differentiation through a rich feature set upon which to build innovative high-volume smartphones for budget-conscious consumers.

“We are excited to bring 4G LTE to highly affordable smartphones at a sub $150 ( ̴ 1,000 RMB) price point with the introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor,” said Jeff Lorbeck, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Qualcomm Technologies, China. “The Snapdragon 410 chipset will also be the first of many 64-bit capable processors as Qualcomm Technologies helps lead the transition of the mobile ecosystem to 64-bit processing.”

Qualcomm Technologies will release the Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) version of the Snapdragon 410 processor with support for Qualcomm RF360™ Front End Solution. The QRD program offers Qualcomm Technologies’ leading technical innovation, easy customization options, the QRD Global Enablement Solution which features regional software packages, modem configurations, testing and acceptance readiness for regional operator requirements, and access to a broad ecosystem of hardware component vendors and software application developers. Under the QRD program, customers can rapidly deliver differentiated smartphones to value-conscious consumers. There have been more than 350 public QRD-based product launches to date in collaboration with more than 40 OEMs in 18 countries.

Note that just 18 days before that there was the news that Qualcomm Technologies Announces Next Generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 “Ultra HD” Processor [press release, Nov 20, 2013]

Mobile Technology Leader Announces its Highest Performance Processor Designed to Deliver the Highest Quality Mobile Video, Camera and Graphics to Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Tier
NEW YORK – November 20, 2013 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced the next generation mobile processor of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 tier, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, which is designed to deliver the highest-quality mobile video, imaging and graphics experiences at Ultra HD (4K) resolution, both on device and via Ultra HD TVs. Featuring the new Adreno 420 GPU, with up to 40 percent more graphics processing power than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 805 processor is the first mobile processor to offer system-level Ultra HD support, 4K video capture and playback and enhanced dual camera Image Signal Processors (ISPs), for superior performance, multitasking, power efficiency and mobile user experiences.
The Snapdragon 805 processor is Qualcomm Technologies’ newest and highest performing Snapdragon processor to date, featuring:
– Blazing fast apps and web browsing and outstanding performance: Krait 450 quad-core CPU, the first mobile CPU to run at speeds of up to 2.5 GHz per core, plus superior memory bandwidth support of up to 25.6 GB/second that is designed to provide unprecedented multimedia and web browsing performance.
– Smooth, sharp user interface and games support Ultra HD resolution: The mobile industry’s first end-to-end Ultra HD solution with on-device display concurrent with output to HDTV; features Qualcomm Technologies’ new Adreno 420 GPU, which introduces support for hardware tessellation and geometry shaders, for advanced 4K rendering, with even more realistic scenes and objects, visually stunning user interface, graphics and mobile gaming experiences at lower power.
– Fast, seamless connected mobile experiences: Custom, efficient integration with either the Qualcomm® Gobi™ MDM9x25 or the Gobi MDM9x35 modem, powering superior seamless connected mobile experiences. The Gobi MDM9x25 chipset announced in February 2013 has seen significant adoption as the first embedded, mobile computing solution to support LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with superior peak data rates of up to 150Mbps. Additionally, Qualcomm’s most advanced Wi-Fi for mobile, 2-stream dual-band Qualcomm® VIVE™ 802.11ac, enables wireless 4K video streaming and other media-intensive applications. With a low-power PCIe interface to the QCA6174, tablets and high-end smartphones can take advantage of faster mobile Wi-Fi performance (over 600 Mbps), extended operating range and concurrent Bluetooth connections, with minimal impact on battery life.
– Ability to stream more video content at higher quality using less power: Support for Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) for video post processing, first to introduce hardware 4K HEVC (H.265) decode for mobile for extremely low-power HD video playback.
– Sharper, higher resolution photos in low light and advanced post-processing features: First Gpixel/s throughput camera support in a mobile processor designed for a significant increase in camera speed and imaging quality. Sensor processing with gyro integration enables image stabilization for sharper, crisper photos. Qualcomm Technologies is the first to announce a mobile processor with advanced, low-power, integrated sensor processing, enabled by its custom DSP, designed to deliver a wide range of sensor-enabled mobile experiences.
“Using a smartphone or tablet powered by Snapdragon 805 processor is like having an UltraHD home theater in your pocket, with 4K video, imaging and graphics, all built for mobile,” said Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. “We’re delivering the mobile industry’s first truly end-to-end Ultra HD solution, and coupled with our industry leading Gobi LTE modems and RF transceivers, streaming and watching content at 4K resolution will finally be possible.”
The Snapdragon 805 processor is sampling now and expected to be available in commercial devices by the first half of 2014.

The original value proposition was presented in the brief Brian Jeff highlights the ARM® Cortex™-A53 processor [ARMflix YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012] video as follows

Brian Jeff highlights the ARM® Cortex™-A53 processor, ARM’s most efficient application processor ever, delivering today’s mainstream smartphone experience in a quarter of the power in the respective process nodes.

The Top 5 Things to Know about Cortex-A53 [Brian Jeff on ‘ARM Connected Community’, Oct 28, 2013]

The Cortex-A53 was introduced to the market in October 2012, delivering the ARMv8 instruction set and significantly increased performance in a highly efficient power and area footprint. It is available for licensing now, and will be deployed in silicon in early 2014 by multiple ARM partners. There are a few key aspects of the Cortex-A53 that developers, OEMs, and SoC designers should know:

1. ARM low power / high efficiency heritage

The ARM9 is the most licensed processor in ARM’s history with over 250 licenses sold. It identified a very important power/cost sweet spot.The Cortex-A5 (launched in 2009) was designed to fit in the CPU same power and area footprint,

image    ARM926-based feature phone (Nokia E60).

while delivering significantly higher performance and power-efficiency, and bring it to modern ARMv7 feature set – software compatibility with the high end of the processor roadmap (then Cortex-A9)

image

The Cortex-A53 is built around a simple pipeline, 8 stages long with in-order execution like the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A5 processors that preceded it. An instruction traversing a simple pipeline requires fewer registers and switches less logic to fetch, decode, issue, execute, and write back the results than a more complex pipeline microarchitecture. Simpler pipelines are smaller and lower power. The high efficiency Cortex-A CPU product line, consisting of Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, and Cortex-A53, takes a design approach prioritizing efficiency first, then seeking as much performance as possible at the maximum efficiency. The added performance in each successive generation in this series comes from advances in the memory system, increasing dual-issue capability, expanded internal busses, and improved branch prediction.

2. ARM v8-A Architecture

The Cortex-A53 is fully compliant with the ARMv8-A architecture, which is the latest ARM architecture and introduces support for 64b operation while maintaining 100% backward compatibility with the broadly deployed ARMv7 architecture. The processor can switch between AArch32 and AArch64 modes of operation to allow 32bit apps and 64bit apps to run together on top of a 64bit operating system. This dual execution state support allows maximum flexibility for developers and SoC designers in managing the rollout of 64bit support in different markets. ARMv8-A brings additional features (more registers, new instructions) that bring increased performance and Cortex-A53 is able to take advantage of these.

3. Higher performance than Cortex-A9: smaller and more efficient too

The Cortex-A9 features an out-of-order pipeline, dual issue capability, and a longer pipeline than Cortex-A53 that enables 15% higher frequency operation. However the Cortex-A53 achieves higher single thread performance by pushing a simpler design farther – some of the key factors enabling the performance of the Cortex-A53 include the integrated low latency level 2 cache, the larger 512 entry main TLB, and the complex branch predictor. The Cortex-A9 has set the bar for the high end of the smartphone market through 2012 – by matching and exceeding that level of performance in a smaller footprint and power budget, the Cortex-A53 delivers performance to entry level devices that was previously enjoyed by high-end flagship mobile devicesin a lower power budget and at lower cost. The graph below compares the single thread performance of the high efficiency Cortex-A processors with the Cortex-A9. At the same frequency, Cortex-A53 delivers more than 20% higher instruction throughput than the Cortex-A9 for representative workloads.

image

4. Supports big.LITTLE with Cortex-A57

The Cortex-A53 is architecturally identical to the higher performance Cortex-A57 processor, and can be integrated with it in a big.LITTLE processor subsystem. big.LITTLE enables peak performance and extreme efficiency by distributing work to the right-sized processor for the task at hand.

It is described in more detail here – Ten Things to Know About big.LITTLE

image

The diagram above shows Cortex-A53 combined with Cortex-A57 and a Mali-T628Graphics processor in an example system. The CCI-400 cache coherent interconnect allows the 2 CPU clusters to be combined in a seamless way that allows software to manage the task allocation in a highly transparent way, as described in <link – software>. The big.LITTLE system enables peak performance at low average power.

Cortex-A53 in ideal for use in a standalone use scenario, delivering excellent performance at very low power and area enabling new features to be supported in the low cost smartphone segments  Our new LITTLE processor packs a performance punch.

Read more about that in a somewhat humorous blog on Cortex-A53 from the product launch – ARM Cortex-A53 — Who You callin’ LITTLE?

5. Extensive feature set for broad application support

The Cortex-A53 includes a feature set that allows it to be configured and optimized through physical implementation tailored to mobile SoCs and to  scalable enterprise systems

Mobile Features

Enterprise Features

  • AMBA 4 ACE Coherent bus
  • big.LITTLE processing (2 CPU Clusters) with CCI-400 interconnect
  • AMBA5 CHI Coherent bus

Scalable to 4 or more coherent CPU clustersfor low-cost servers or networking infrastructure devices.

  • 16-core systems with  CCN-504 or 32-core systems with CCN-508 – all on a single silicon die.

Small area, low power design

Optimized for <150mW envelope

Small area, low power design.

Likely still optimized for 150 mW. However, higher performance implementations can be used

ECC, parity available, but configurable if not needed

ECC and parity protection required for enterprise applications

See also:

ARM Cortex-A53 — Who You callin’ LITTLE? [Brian Jeff on ‘ARM Connected Community’, Oct 30, 2013]

I may only weigh in at just over half a square millimeter on die, but I can handle a heavy workload and I pack quite a processing punch, and frankly I’m tired of the lack of respect I get as a “LITTLE” processor. I am the CortexTM-A53 processor from ARM, some of you may have previously known me by my code name “Apollo”. Despite being three times as efficient as my big brother, the Cortex-A57, and delivering more performance than today’s current heavyweight champ the Cortex-A9, I am often overlooked.

Processor designers and consumers alike look to the big core, the top end MHz figure, and the number of big processors in the system when they evaluate devices like premium smartphones and tablets. What they don’t realize is that I’m the one running during most of the time the mobile applications cluster is awake, and I’m the one that will enable improvements in battery life even as delivered peak performance increases dramatically. It is high time that the LITTLE processor gets the respect and appreciation that is due.

I’m speaking not just for myself here, but for my close cousin the Cortex-A7. We’re built from the same DNA, so to speak, sharing the same 8-stage pipeline and in-order structure. We both consume about the same level of power on our respective production process nodes, and although I bring added performance and support 64-bit, we are both quite alike. We are 100% code compatible for 32-bit code after all. And yet we don’t get the respect we deserve. It is an injustice, really.

In high-end mobile devices, my cousin the Cortex-A7 is always telling me how everyone wants to hear about how fast the Cortex-A15 is in the system, how many Cortex-A15 CPUs are in the system, and how many MaliTM GPU cores are built into the SoC. They don’t even notice if there are four Cortex-A7 cores in the design capable of delivering plenty of performance — more performance than a lot of smartphones in the market today.  They just expect battery life to improve without giving any credit to the LITTLE processor that makes it possible.

Well they will soon see… big.LITTLE processors are coming into the market next year, nearly sampling already, and the capability of the LITTLE processor will be in full view, let me tell you.

Oh, and another thing — in the enterprise space, what they call “big Iron” — there is almost no recognition of the worth of small processors there. Sure, new designs are considering LITTLE processors in many-core topologies with ARM’s CoreLinkTM Cache Coherent Network (CCN) interconnect, but look at the products that are deployed today — they are mostly based on big cores, the bigger the better. Nowhere is this more evident than in the server space, where IT managers brag about how big their server racks are. Just wait and see. New server processors are being developed based on ARM, where even my big brother the Cortex-A57 is about an order of magnitude smaller and lower power than the incumbent processors. I’m in a different weight class altogether, but I can hang with the big boys on total performance. Purpose-built servers using lots of Cortex-A53 cores can deliver even more aggregate performance in a given power and thermal envelope. But are we LITTLE cores getting much attention in servers today? No. Well just watch and see. In 2015 when the first Cortex-A50 series 64-bit processors are built for lower power servers, you won’t be able to help but notice that LITTLE processors can get key jobs done in a lot less energy.

So I may be the same size relative to my Cortex-A57 big brother as the Cortex-A7 is to the Cortex-A15, but OEMs and consumers better not underestimate me. I’ve been going through intensive work these past 2 years to build up my muscles in the places that count: my SIMD performance is way up thanks to the improved NEONTM architectural support in ARMv8 and a much wider NEON datapath. I can dual-issue almost anything. My memory system is also juiced up, as is my branch predictor capability. That’s how I can pack a bigger punch than Cortex-A9 at around a quarter the power in our respective process nodes.

That’s all I’m saying, man. You gotta respect the LITTLE processor.

Peace.

AnandTech Live with ARM’s Peter Greenhalgh [anandshimpi YouTube channel, Dec 20, 2013]

A live chat with ARM Fellow and Lead Architect on Cortex A53, Peter Greenhalgh

From the earlier: Answered by the Experts: ARM’s Cortex A53 Lead Architect, Peter Greenhalgh [AnandTech, Dec 17, 2013]

Cortex-A53 has been designed to be able to easily replace Cortex-A7. For example, Cortex-A7 supports the same bus-interface standards (and widths) as Cortex-A7 which allows a partner who has already built a Cortex-A7 platform to rapidly convert to Cortex-A53.

A Cortex-A53 cluster only supports up to 4-cores. If more than 4-cores are required in a platform then multiple clusters can be implemented and coherently connected using an interconnect such as CCI-400. The reason for not scaling to 8-cores per cluster is that the L2 micro-architecture would need to either compromise energy-efficiency in the 1-4 core range to achieve performance in the 4-8 core range, or compromise performance in the 4-8 core range to maximise energy-efficiency in the 1-4 core range.

We expect to see a range of platform configurations using Cortex-A53. A 4+4 Cortex-A53 platform configuration is fully supported and a logical progression from a 4+4 Cortex-A7 platform.

We’re pretty happy with the 8-stage (integer) Cortex-A53 pipeline and it has served us well across the Cortex-A53, Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A5 family. So far it’s scaled nicely from 65nm to 16nm and frequencies approaching 2GHz so there’s no reason to think this won’t hold true in the future.

Cortex-A53 has the same pipeline length as Cortex-A7 so I would expect to see similar frequencies when implemented on the same process geometry. Within the same pipeline length the design team focussed on increasing dual-issue, in-order performance as far as we possibly could. This involved symmetric dual-issue of most of the instruction set, more forwarding paths in the datapaths, reduced issue latency, larger & more associative TLB, vastly increased conditional and indirect branch prediction resources and expanded instruction and data prefetching. The result of all these changes is an increase in SPECInt-2000 performance from 0.35-SPEC/Mhz on Cortex-A7 to 0.50-SPEC/Mhz on Cortex-A53. This should provide a noticeable performance uplift on the next generation of smartphones using Cortex-A53.

Due to the power-efficiency of Cortex-A53 on a 28nm platform, all 4 cores can comfortably be executing at 1.4GHz in less than 750mW which is easily sustainable in a current smartphone platform even while the GPU is in operation.

The performance per watt (energy efficiency) of Cortex-A53 is very similar to Cortex-A7. Certainly within the variation you would expect with different implementations. Largely this is down to learning from Cortex-A7 which was applied to Cortex-A53 both in performance and power.

Intel to make ARM Processors, firstly 64bit 14nm ARM Cortex-A53 ARMv8 for Altera [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 31, 2013]

Nathan Brookwood is an Analyst and Research Fellow at Insight 64, he is the source for the Forbes article http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2013/10/29/exclusive-intel-opens-fabs-to-arm-chips/ The new Intel CEO has changed Intel’s policy, now deciding that it’s actually OK to manufacture ARM Processors in their Fab. Possibly now Intel is also going to make ARM Processors for Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD or someone else, possibly also even for themselves, possibly releasing a whole range of Intel ARM Processors to launch if Intel cares to have some reach into Smartphones, Tablets, ARM Laptops, Smart TVs, ARM Desktops, ARM Servers, I think Intel doesn’t need to not contribute to each of those ARM categories themselves too and by fabricating for Chip Makers, it depends what the new Intel CEO finds to be the thing to do for them.

Altera Announces Quad-Core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 for Stratix 10 SoCs [press release, Oct 29, 2013]

Manufactured on Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate Process, Altera Stratix® 10 SoCs Will Deliver Industry’s Most Versatile Heterogeneous Computing Platform

image

Santa Clara, Calif., ARM TechCon, October 29, 2013Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) today announced that its Stratix 10 SoC devices, manufactured on Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate process, will incorporate a high-performance, quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex™-A53 processor system, complementing the device’s floating-point digital signal processing (DSP) blocks and high-performance FPGA fabric. Coupled with Altera’s advanced system-level design tools, including OpenCL, this versatile heterogeneous computing platform will offer exceptional adaptability, performance, power efficiency and design productivity for a broad range of applications, including data center computing acceleration, radar systems and communications infrastructure.

From: Intel fabs Altera’s Stratix 10 FPGA with four ARM A53 cores [SemiAccurate, Nov 5, 2013]: Altera representatives at Techcon said that the beast would tape out in Q4/2014 or about a year from now.

From: Pigs Fly. Altera Goes with ARM on Intel 14nm [SemiWiki.com, Oct 29, 2013]:

I asked Altera about the schedule for all of this. Currently they have over 100 customers using the beta release of their software to model their applications in the Stratix 10. They have taped out a test-chip that is currently in the Intel fab. In the first half of next year they will have a broader release of the software to everyone. They will tape out the actual designs late in 2014 and have volume production starting in early 2015.

Why did they pick this processor? It has the highest power efficiency of any 64-bit processor. Plus it is backwards compatible with previous Altera families which used (32-bit) ARM Cortex-A9. The A53 has a 32-bit mode that is completely binary compatible with the A9. As I reported last week from the Linley conference, ARM is on a roll into communications infrastructure, enterprise and datacenter so there is a huge overlap between the target markets for the A53 and the target markets for the Stratix 10 SoCs.

The ARM Cortex-A53 processor, the first 64-bit processor used on a SoC FPGA, is an ideal fit for use in Stratix 10 SoCs due to its performance, power efficiency, data throughput and advanced features. The Cortex-A53 is among the most power efficient of ARM’s application-class processors, and when delivered on the 14 nm Tri-Gate process will achieve more than six times more data throughput compared to today’s highest performing SoC FPGAs. The Cortex-A53 also delivers important features, such as virtualization support, 256TB memory reach and error correction code (ECC) on L1 and L2 caches. Furthermore, the Cortex-A53 core can run in 32-bit mode, which will run Cortex-A9 operating systems and code unmodified, allowing a smooth upgrade path from Altera’s 28 nm and 20 nm SoC FPGAs.

“ARM is pleased to see Altera adopting the lowest power 64-bit architecture as an ideal complement to DSP and FPGA processing elements to create a cutting-edge heterogeneous computing platform,” said Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager, Processor Division, ARM. “The Cortex-A53 processor delivers industry-leading power efficiency and outstanding performance levels, and it is supported by the ARM ecosystem and its innovative software community.”

Leveraging Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate process and an enhanced high-performance architecture, Altera Stratix 10 SoCs will have a programmable-logic performance level of more than 1GHz; two times the core performance of current high-end 28 nm FPGAs.

“High-end networking and communications infrastructure are rapidly migrating toward heterogeneous computing architectures to achieve maximum system performance and power efficiency,” said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group, a leading embedded research firm. “What Altera is doing with its Stratix 10 SoC, both in terms of silicon convergence and high-level design tool support, puts the company at the forefront of delivering heterogeneous computing platforms and positions them well to capitalize on myriad opportunities.”

By standardizing on ARM processors across its three-generation SoC portfolio, Altera will offer software compatibility and a common ARM ecosystem of tools and operating system support. Embedded developers will be able to accelerate debug cycles with Altera’s SoC Embedded Design Suite (EDS) featuring the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) Altera® Edition toolkit, the industry’s only FPGA-adaptive debug tool, as well as use Altera’s software development kit (SDK) for OpenCL to create heterogeneous implementations using the OpenCL high-level design language.

“With Stratix 10 SoCs, designers will have a versatile and powerful heterogeneous compute platform enabling them to innovate and get to market faster,” said Danny Biran, senior vice president, corporate strategy and marketing at Altera. “This will be very exciting for customers as converged silicon continues to be the best solution for complex, high-performance applications.”

About Altera

Altera® programmable solutions enable designers of electronic systems to rapidly and cost effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Altera offers FPGAs, SoCs, CPLDs, ASICs and complementary technologies, such as power management, to provide high-value solutions to customers worldwide. Follow Altera viaFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and RSS, andsubscribe to product update emails and newsletters.  altera.com

My Altera will use Intel Custom Foundry’s 14 nm Tri-Gate (FinFET) process services to produce its new high-end SoC FPGA with 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 IP [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 1, 2013] post was already answering in detail the following questions that arised from the above announcement:

  1. Why FPGAs? Why more FPGAs?
  2. Why SoC FPGAs?
  3. Why ARM with FPGA on the Intel Tri-Gate (FinFET) process, and why now?
  4. OpenCL for FPGAs
  5. Altera SoC FPGAs

Leading edge Nokia phablets for both entertainment and productivity: Lumia 1320 targeting the masses at $339, and Lumia 1520 the imaging conscious business users and individuals at $749

This is my conclusion after carefully analyzing the announced products in all of their details. Only “imaging consciousness” needs a little explanation in the very beginning because otherwise the substantial $410 pricing difference would be hard to understand. To illustrate the rationale for that I copied here an image currently available at http://refocus.nokia.com/ which shows that you can make everything in focus. By going to that address you will also be able to experience with the image there (likely a different one) and change the focus as you like. And this is only one aspect of all the benefits for “imaging conscious” business users and individuals willing to pay that $410 extra.

image

Another aspect is the Screen Test: Nokia Lumia 1520 versus Galaxy Note 3 [TheHandheldBlog YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013] which is showing particularly well the Lumia 1520 advantage over the phablet market leader Samsung Galaxy Note 3:

Nokia’s so proud of the display that they put in the Lumia 1520 that they had setup a demo zone that simulated the lighting available during various times of the day e.g. in sunlight, indoors etc and the idea was to see how the screen kept up with the changing lighting. Both devices were set to automatic maximum brightness, and this is how they stood up. Hint: The Nokia killed it.

The Nokia World Nokia Lumia 1520 daylight visibility demo [WMPowerUser YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013] is showing the advantage against the smartphone market leaders:

The Nokia Lumia 1520 features a very bright screen with much reduced glare, which allows much improved visibility in daylight conditions, as demoed in a special light box at Nokia World against and iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4. All devices are at maximum brightness.

To understand how “a very bright screen with much reduced glare” is uniquely achieved by Nokia, please read The leading ClearBlack display technology from Nokia [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 18, 2011 – May 8, 2012] post of mine.

imageAs far as the opportunities for business customer are concerned Chris Weber, EVP Sales & Marketing at Nokia said that the opportunity is huge even in 2013:
imageIn addition Nokia and Microsoft are uniquely positioned in that space because Nokia smartphones (Windows phones) are rated highest by business users etc. Watch his presentation in Replay Nokia World Abu Dhabi (the second webcast:) Breakout Sessions [Nokia Conversations, Oct 22, 2013], from [1:49:00].

Now consider what one gets for a much lesser amount ($339) with Nokia Lumia 1320 unveiled at Nokia World Abu Dhabi [Maurizio Pesce YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013]:

[Note that the Lumia 1320 also has IPS LCD with ClearBlack display technology, just the resolution is lower: 1280 x 720 (HD) vs 1920 x 1080 (full HD) of the Lumia 1520.]

While the latest innovations in functionality are shown quite well in the above video the most important quote from Nokia (because of its implication) is:

Similar to the Lumia 1520 – and building on the affordability of the Lumia 520 – the new Nokia Lumia 1320 also features a 6-inch screen and a wealth of features at a lower price.

And here is the Nokia Lumia 1520 first hands-on [Nokia YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013] video for a kind of comparison (from Nokia itself):

Be the first to see the stunning new Nokia Lumia 1520, which packs a full HD 6-inch display and a 20 megapixel PureView camera into a sleek polycarbonate shell. It’s also brings an exciting third row of tiles to boost your creativity and productivity, as well as the brand new Nokia Camera app. Find out more: http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/10/22/standing-tall-the-nokia-lumia-1520-and-lumia-1320/

Technical similarities/differences between the two Nokia phablets could be seen in the below table of mine, which was compiled from Lumia 1320 & 1520 spec data + dev specs.image
Regarding the similarity between the two devices the most important thing is the functionality which is 90% the same. The Lumia 1520 is just different with:
– Multimicrophone uplink noise cancellation
– HERE Drive+
– Secure NFC (although in developer specs it is indicated for Lumia 1320 as well)
– Public transportation routing guidance
– HERE Transit
– Panorama (That is get the bigger picture with Nokia’s easy-to-use Panorama app. Simply take your pictures and the app automatically stitches them into a picture-perfect view. Once you’re done, share your panorama directly to Twitter and Facebook.)
– Additional light sensitivities: ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 4000
+ Nokia Refocus (as an application on top of that) illustrated in the very beginning of this post already

The Nokia World Abu Dhabi 2013 [Red Robot – Intelligent Distribution YouTube channel,
Oct 23, 2013] had certainly much wider set of new announcements:
At Nokia World: Abu Dhabi, Nokia unveiled six new devices alongside new accessories, Nokia experiences and third-party developer applications.

In order to understand the substantially higher price positioning for the Lumia 1520 please note that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE 32GB unlocked offering (which has nothing like the imaging functionality of Lumia 1520) has a U.S. retail price of $735.00-789.95+ on Amazon (not to speak of the 32GB Apple iPhone 5s with its $850-950+ price as a minimum). Here is a very recent, brief comparison:
Nokia Lumia 1520 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3 [Recombu YouTube channel, Oct 22, 2013]

The underdog vs the prized champion – the Nokia Lumia 1520 vs the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Two big phones but which has the biggest impact when places side by side?
More Note 3 related information could be found in The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] post of mine.

Now The Nokia Lumia 1520 and the Arabian Peninsula [Nokia Conversations, Oct 23, 2013] post is describing quite clearly the ultimate advantage of Lumia 1520 as:

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is very much the bigger brother of the Lumia 1020, sporting a 6-inch display.
Although it only packs 20 megapixels against the 1020′s 41 megapixels, the results are no less stunning. “The image quality is fantastic” is [National Geographic photographer Stephen] Alvarez’s instant feedback, “every bit of the Lumia 1020′s”. The larger screen makes a difference, too.
“It’s easier to frame because you can see the image much larger,” Alvarez says of the device’s size, “but it isn’t so large that it’s cumbersome”. When doing really careful compositions, Stephen believes the Lumia 1520 makes short work of such tasks, citing the screen as being “remarkable”.
For a professional photographer, the ability to extract DNG (Digital Negative) image files from a device is crucial. Whether it’s to work further on the image in post-production, or whether to prove you have an un-tainted image (if you’re a journalist or gathering evidence, for example). With the Lumia 1520 comes support for DNG files, much to Stephen’s delight when he found out.
Amateur and professional photographers alike benefit from the fact there is zero compression in the file. Pulling more detail out of a shadow is just one example Alvarez offers before pointing out that the file size is comparable to what he sees from his DSLR.

Some additional advantages from Standing tall: The Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320 [Nokia Conversations, Oct 22, 2013] are described as:

Lumia 1520 features Nokia Rich Recording with four microphones, providing directional stereo recording capability to capture distortion free audio from the preferred direction for clear, accurate sound. (We will have more information to share with you about the Lumia 1520’s audio capabilities soon.)
The Lumia 1520 is a genuine workhorse, too. It comes with Microsoft Office built in, so you can have the flexibility to work when you need to; and it includes a massive battery with integrated wireless charging (Qi compatible). This powerful combination means you can manage to easily log a whole day of work and enjoy entertainment like movies without worrying about finding a place to charge up.
The ability to show a third column on the Start screen isn’t just about scaling the experience of Windows Phone 8. It really is about getting to you favorite apps faster with less scrolling. For instance, the email app now shows one additional row of content in the Live tile, right on the Start screen.
Do you do a lot of video conferencing? The front-facing camera on the Lumia 1520 offers 1.2 HD 720p wide angle video so you’ll always look your best.
And, with the new Papyrus app coming to Windows Phone for the first time, you can easily take handwritten notes on your Nokia Lumia 1520.

The Lumia 1520 features all the latest in display technology to make the beautiful six inch screen stand out, even in the brightest sunlight. With ClearBlack display technology, High Brightness Mode and assertive display technology by Apical, the screen offers a viewing experience to enjoy no matter what the light conditions are. And when winter rolls in, wearing gloves won’t prevent you from using the screen just as easily as before thanks to the super sensitive touch screen with Gorilla Glass 2.

No wonder that in this Nokia Lumia 1520 Hands on and tour of Nokia’s latest phablet [funviz YouTube channel, Oct 24, 2013] 3d party video the display is touted as the big selling point of the device: “[0:19] That display is probably the best display I’ve ever seen on any digital device. [0:23]”

he Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s high-end ‘phablet’ Windows Phone released in early November, 2013. Featuring a 6-inch 1080 display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core CPU, the Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s first Update 3 device featuring the Lumia ‘Black’ firmware, a rolling cover and a 20 MP camera with a f/2.0 lens. The device also has 32 GB of internal storage and it can take up to 64 GB of external memory (microSD). The Lumia 1520 has a massive 3400 mAh battery life for an estimated 25 hours talk time and 2GB of RAM, making it one of the more powerful Lumias to date. Compared to other Lumias, the 1520 also has 4 High-amplitude audio capture (HAAC) microphones on board to give it excellent audio fidelity on calls and while recording videos. The Lumia 1520 will also feature a new Refocus Lens and StoryTeller apps from Nokia and it comes in four colors, including yellow, white, black and glossy red.

And don’t forget that there is the quite rich common Lumia 1320/1520 functionality (except Nokia Refocus ?for time being?) which is touted by Nokia in the following way:

Continuing to redefine smartphone innovation, Nokia introduces its first ever large screen Lumia smartphones, the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320. With a six inch screen and the latest software advancements for Windows Phone, the Lu.mia 1320 and Lumia 1520 are perfectly suited for entertainment and productivity. A new third column of tiles on the home screen means people can see and do more on a larger screen. Bringing larger displays to the award-winning Lumia design, the new format is coupled with some of the most advanced camera innovations so people can capture and share the world around them. … With Microsoft Office built in, documents can be edited and shared easily for maximum productivity.
It includes Nokia Music and HERE Maps for great music and location experiences, and welcomes both Nokia Camera and Nokia Storyteller apps, available in the Windows Phone Store. With the latest apps, the best from Nokia, and the best from Microsoft supported by LTE connections you can make the most out of the bright large screen on the Lumia 1320. Sit back and relax while you play the latest Xbox games, read web content, or watch movies on the six inch screen. A wealth of content can be stored using the free 7GB of SkyDrive storage or with the addition of a micro SD card adding up to 64GB more space.
HERE experiences get an update too! Now with LiveSight in HERE Drive and HERE Drive+ you can easily locate your parked car, while in HERE Transit it will be easier to find nearby transit stations. … The third-party apps line-up for Lumia is significantly boosted with the arrival of … the Instagram photo editing and sharing network, Papyrus and InNote, which both offer handwritten note-taking solutions, and the Vine short-form video service from Twitter – available soon!
imageFrom: Papyrus – Use your finger or a stylus to take notes on your Lumia. The vector graphics engine keeps your notes beautiful at any zoom level.
Windows Phone Store is stocked with a full range of certified applications and games, with hundreds more titles added every day. Starting today, Windows Phone owners can download a number of new applications including: CamScanner, Goal Live Scores, InNote, phriz.be, Rail Rush, SophieLensHD and an updated TuneIn Radio application with radio stations live on the Start screen.
Over the coming weeks, Windows Phone owners can experience many more new applications including: ESPN F1, EA SPORTS(TM) FIFA 14, Instagram, My Talking Tom, Papyrus, Temple Run 2, Vine, Vyclone Pro and Xbox Video among others**.
The screen real estate afforded by the larger full HD display screens on the Nokia Lumia 1520 (6″) … has already inspired developers to create unique experiences for consumers. … Flipboard, a personal magazine, allows people to read and collect all the news they care about, curating their favorite stories into their own magazines. With Live Tiles … people can digest news faster and easier than ever before. Flipboard will be available … for Lumia smartphones in the coming months.
During Nokia World 2013, Flipboard CTO Eric Feng gave us a rundown of some of the new features that are coming to the Windows version of the popular social-networking and magazine app.
More information:
Replay Nokia World Abu Dhabi – (the 2nd embedded webcast:) Breakout Sessions [Nokia Conversations, Oct 22, 2013]
Eric Feng (CTO, Flipboard): [42:15] Quick overview of Flipboard:
— World’s first personal personal magazine (curated, personalized and displayed)
— ~8000 content partnerships (The New York Times, BBC, AlJazeera, ESPN etc.)
— Partnering with world’s 14 leading social networks
— A community of a couple of million users who are curating magazines every day
— About 4 million magazines curated already on every single day
— ~100 million items can be consumed on Flipboard every single day
— presented in a beautiful magazine layout
image
~90 million people and growing
~200 countries worldwide
image
[47:10]
Flipboard’s Mike McCue | Disrupt NYC 2013 [TechCrunch YouTube channel, April 29, 2019]
Flipboard is a digital social magazine that aggregates web links from your social circle, i.e. Twitter and Facebook, and displays the content in magazine form on an iPad. Here, watch Co-Founder and CEO Mike McCue onstage at Disrupt NY 2013 talk about Flipboard.
Flipboard and Pandora, gamechangers in mobile [This Week In Startups YouTube channel, Oct 15, 2013]
Flipboard was one of the first iPad apps that made clear exactly how powerful the experience could be. Blending the best of RSS content with beautiful print-style layout, the app has only gotten better. Now Flipboard’s 85m users can create their own magazines tailored to specific interests. When cofounder and CEO Mike McCue sat down with Jason at LAUNCH Mobile, they dug into how the app has become publisher and platform, changing how we think about and interact with content. Then, a conversation with Tom Conrad, longtime CTO of Pandora. The publicly-traded company has long held sway in the mobile space, transforming how we think about radio by identifying exactly what makes a genre or mood, through its music genome project. Then, putting that tailored-just-for-you radio station into the pockets of its 175m users. Don’t miss these great conversations that point to the future of media in the mobile space.
Today, let’s take a look at our homegrown apps right from the Nokia app factory.
Nokia Camera App demo on Lumia 1520. Nokia Camera is available now to download for all Nokia Lumia PureView smartphones, and coming to the rest of the WP8 Lumia range along with the Lumia Black update early next year. Nokia Camera also has raw file support (DNG format) on Nokia Lumia 1520, and this will be coming to the Lumia 1020 when the Lumia Black update rolls out.
Nokia Camera
Two glorious apps combined into one. Nokia Pro Camera and Nokia Smart Camera have been merged to simplify your photo-taking experience, and ensure you get the perfect shot every time.
The Nokia Camera integrates easy automatic mode, but you can also take control of your camera and become a pro by manually altering focus settings, shutter speed, and ISO as well as using Smart Burst, Remove Moving Objects or create an Action Shot features.
Nokia has a new Refocus app which put Lytro cameras to shame, allowing users to focus on any element of the picture after the fact
Nokia Refocus
Rather than worry about getting the focus perfect first time, Nokia Refocus takes a photo and lets you choose the focus point after you’ve taken the shot.
[AS AN ALTERNATIVE—to the above one—PRESENTATION] Nokia Refocus lets you readjust the focus after taking the photos. It will be available ON THE LUMIA 1520 AND ALL OTHER PUREVIEW LUMIA DEVICES in mid-november.
This means you can create different expressions of a single photo, changing the same scene in a number of ways by refocusing on the area you want to highlight most. You can also choose to make everything in focus, or magically add colour pop to the focused area for more impact.
[You can experience the effect of Nokia Refocus on an image captured with Nokia Refocus placed at http://refocus.nokia.com/]
Nokia Storyteller
One of the (many) announcements from Nokia World 2013 in Abu Dhabi is Nokia’s new Storyteller app, coming first with the Lumia 1520. We go hands on for a video tour of the new app.
A single app that combines your photographs and videos with HERE location information to create a picture journey. When you take a photo or record a video, you can see precisely where it was taken on a familiar HERE map.
See clusters of photos scattered across the globe and zoom in to an exact location. Plus, zoom out of any photo within the gallery to see where it was shot. You will also notice that your photos truly come live, the videos are played in-line, the action shots are beautifully animated, and the refocus effect is subtly played back to give the immersive feeling when browsing between the images.
Nokia Beamer wins our award for the zaniest thing we’ve seen at Nokia World. The app allows you to share your display, live, to another Windows Phone (or really any device). Just watch the video and expect the app in the coming weeks.
Nokia Beamer
Nokia Beamer is the ideal way to share what’s on your Lumia display to any internet-enabled screen.
PowerPoint presentations, photos, videos, absolutely anything that you see on your Lumia can be shared, remotely, to anywhere in the world.
It’s like magic, there’s no hassle with connections, and it just works. You beam the screen to a nearby HTML enabled screen, or SMS it to a friend on the other side of the globe. You can even tweet it and let your followers see your screen in real time!

It is quite remarkable that how much the “building on the affordability of the Lumia 520” claim (quoted in the beginning) is true for Lumia 1320. When comparing the two in devspecs (functionality comparison I will omit here) there are quite significant improvements (over Lumia 520) on one hand, such as:
– 720 x 1280 pixels, 6 inches
– Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
– ClearBlack, IPS LCD
– High brightness mode
– Lumia Color Profile
– LTE with upto 100 Mbps uplink / 50 Mbps downlink speeds
– 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
– 1 GB RAM, possibility to have 64 GB Micro SD cards
– HERE Maps and HERE Drive
– Magnetometer sensor (compass)
– Auto and Manual Exposure, Face recognition, LED Flash and Video Light for the main camera
– Full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording resolution
– Video call, Video sharing and Video stabilizaion
– Secondary camera
– Dolby headphone
– Bluetooth 4.0
– Maximum standby time: 28 day
– Maximum talk time (2G): 25 h
– Maximum talk time (3G): 21 h
– Maximum music playback time: 98 h
– Maximum video playback time: 9 h
– Maximum Wi-Fi browsing time: 11.5 h

On the other hand—however—the list price of the Lumia 1320 is just $339 vs. the initial list price of the Lumia 520 around $200 when it was released to the market by end March this year. Considering that since then the street price of Lumia 520 went down to as low as $125 (corresponding to Rs.7,714 in India) we may expect that in half year after its Q1 2014 planned release (i.e. in Q3 2014) the street price of Lumia 1320 could become as low as $212 too (iff the sales go as well as for Lumia 520).

In that case the higher by $410 price of Lumia 1520 ($749) will be even less lucrative for an average phablet buyer as it is now (IMHO already not lucrative at all). Look at the list functionality copied here from Lumia 1320 and 1520 spec data, and you will easily understand that (functionality denoted in bold is for Lumia 1520 only):

Software and applications
Productivity features

  • Personal information management features: Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Phonebook, Alarm clock, Reminders, To-do list, Social networks in Phonebook, OneNote, Wallet, Family Room, Kid’s Corner
  • Business apps: Adobe acrobat reader free download, Lync (Corporate IM) free download, SkyDrive storage for documents and notes, Company Hub for enterprise applications, Office apps: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OneNote
  • Document formats supported: Excel, PDF, Word, OneNote, Powerpoint
  • Sync type: Exchange ActiveSync, Windows companion app, 1320: Mac companion app, Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac
  • Sync content: Calendar, Video, Pictures, Music, Contacts

Other Applications

  • Game features: DirectX 11, Touch UI, XBox-Live Hub

Software platform & User Interface

  • SW Platform: Windows Phone
  • Software release: Windows Phone 8 with Lumia Black

Communications
Email and Messaging5

  • Email clients: Yahoo! Mail, Outlook Mobile, Gmail, Office 365, Nokia Mail, Windows Live / Hotmail / Outlook.com, MS Exchange Active Sync
  • Email protocols: SMTP, IMAP4, POP3
  • Email features: Viewing and editing of email attachments, Always up to date, Multiple simultaneous email accounts, Text-to-speech message reader, Email attachments, Conversational view on email, Linking multiple inboxes to one, Inbox filtering, HTML viewer
  • Supported instant messaging services: Google Talk, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, WhatsApp, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype IM, Facebook
  • Messaging features: Integrated text messaging and chat, Instant messaging, Concatenated SMS for long messages, Multiple SMS deletion, List of recently used numbers, Audio messaging, Text-to-speech message reader, Text messaging, Number screening for messaging, Unified MMS/SMS editor, Automatic resizing of images for MMS, Distribution lists for messaging, Multimedia messaging, Conversational chat style SMS, Unified inbox for SMS and MMS

Call management

  • Call management features: Voice commands, Call waiting, Voice mail, Integrated hands-free speakers, Call forwarding, Call logs: dialled, received and missed, Call history, Voice dial, Conference call, Skype voice call
  • Video call features: Skype video call
  • Supported amount of phonebooks: One integrated phonebook
  • Supports amount of contacts: Unlimited
  • Ringtones: Downloadable ringtones, MP3 ringtones
  • Noise cancellation: Yes –> Multimicrophone uplink noise cancellation
  • Speech codecs: AMR-WB, GSM FR, AMR-NB, GSM HR, EFR, GSM EFR

Device security
Security

  • Enterprise security features: Remote security policy enforcement
  • General Security features: Remote device locking via Internet, Secure NFC, Track and Protect via internet, Firmware update, Remote wipe of user data via Internet, Device lock, Device passcode, PIN code, Firmware and OS integrity check, Secure device start-up, Online back-up and restore, Application sandboxing and integrity check
  • Advance security features: Lost device tracking, Browser integrated anti-phishing
  • Data encryption: User data encryption for device

Sharing and Internet
Browsing and Internet

  • Internet browser capabilities: Internet Explorer 10
  • Social apps: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, LINE, WeChat
  • Photo sharing: Share over Bluetooth, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Send as email attachment, SkyDrive, Nokia Beamer
  • Video sharing: YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, Video sharing to social network and internet, Facebook, SkyDrive, Joyn video call sharing
  • Location sharing: WP location sharing, Foursquare
  • Wi-Fi hotspot: Up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • Nokia Beamer: Nokia Beamer lets you share your screen with family, colleagues and friends by simply pointing your Nokia Lumia at any screen displaying the web address http://beam.nokia.com. Or share your live Lumia screen by sending a link by email, sms or social networks.

Navigation
GPS and navigation6

  • Location and navigation apps: HERE Maps, HERE Drive –> HERE Drive+
  • Navigation features: (Pin places to Start screen, Reveal the surrounding places, Reviews, info and photos for places, Routing options, Save favourite destinations, Call, share and get directions to places,) –> Public transportation routing guidance, Free maps, (Live traffic information,) Automatic day/night view switching, (Venue maps – shopping and transport centers,) Offline maps, (Online and offline favourites), Speed limit warnings, LiveSight, Download the latest maps with Wi-Fi, Free turn-by-turn walk navigation, (Save and sync favs with HERE.com,) Free global voice guided turn-by-turn drive navigation
  • Location technologies: Magnetometer, A-GPS, Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning, A-GLONASS

Location and navigation apps

  • HERE Maps: Discover the best places in any neighbourhood with HERE Maps. New LiveSight technology reveals interesting places in your display. Explore malls, stations and more with venue maps. Access your favourite places on any HERE app and on here.com.
  • HERE Drive –> HERE Drive+: Navigate safely with (free regional voice-guided directions) –> global free turn-by-turn navigation and true offline support. (HERE Drive) –> HERE Drive+ features audible speed limit warnings, dedicated dashboard and commute assistance. Save and access favourite places on any HERE app and on here.com.
  • HERE Transit: Get around by bus, train and subway all in one easy-to-use app. Compare route options, arrival and departure times and walking distances in over 700 cities and 50 countries. Over-the-air updates ensure you always have the latest routes and schedules.

Photography
Photography apps

  • Nokia Camera7: Nokia Camera brings together the features from Nokia Pro Cam and Nokia Smart Cam modes into one application. It gives you the whole exclusive Nokia camera experience with fast access to editing and sharing.
  • Creative Studio: Get more out of your pictures with this quick and easy photo editor. Creative Studio’s editing tools let you quickly adjust color balance, remove red eye and apply filters. Then, share your pictures directly on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Cinemagraph: A magical blend of photo and movie-like animation, creating pictures that seem almost alive. Helpful on-screen assistance lets you select the animated area of your picture and easily create and edit a cinemagraph. You can share your cinemagraph with friends via social media, email and messaging.
  • Panorama: Get the bigger picture with Nokia’s easy-to-use Panorama app. Simply take your pictures and the app automatically stitches them into a picture-perfect view. Once you’re done, share your panorama directly to Twitter and Facebook.
  • Nokia Storyteller: Nokia Storyteller organizes your photos into stories on an interactive HERE map by time and place. Cinemagraphs and smart photos play automatically. See points of interest around the photos taken and pull up contact info, call or email directly from Storyteller, enabling you to authentically re-experience your entire journey when the time comes.

Image capturing

  • Capture modes: Video, Still
  • Scene modes: Automatic, Sports, Night
  • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
  • Light sensitivity: Automatic, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 4000
  • Photos viewed by: Camera Roll, Month, Timeline, Photo editor, Favorites, Album, Photos from social networks, Nokia Storyteller

Music and Audio
Music apps

  • Nokia Music: Unlimited streaming of music for free with Nokia Music. Discover great new music wherever you go. Create your own artist inspired mix or enjoy the mixes from our music experts and celebrity friends. You can listen to your favourite mixes offline and discover live music around you with Nokia Music Gig Finder.

Accessibility
Accessibility features

  • Hearing: Vibrating alerts, TTY support, Video call, BT neckloop compatible
  • Vision: Screen reader compatible, Voice recognition, Vibrating alerts, Zoom, Voice commands, Font magnification, High contrast mode, Customizable home screen
  • Physical skills: Speakerphone, Voice recognition, Voice commands, Customizable home screen

6Downloading of maps over-the-air may involve transferring large amounts of data. Your service provider may charge for the data transmission. The availability of products, services and features may vary by region. Please check with your local Nokia dealer for further details and availability of language options. These specifications are subject to change without notice.

7Nokia Camera comes as an update to Nokia Pro Camera. Available now from Store.