MediaTek today officially unveiled the MT6592, the company's "true" octa-core mobile platform, which combines an eight-core application processor with multimedia capabilities and mobile connectivity.
The computational capabilities of the MediaTek MT6592 promise to deliver premium gaming performance, advanced multi-tasking and enhanced web browsing for high-end smartphones and tablets. The MT6592 is expected to be available in devices running Android 'Jelly Bean' by the end of 2013. MT6592 enabled mobile devices running Android 'Kit-Kat' are expected in early 2014.
Building on the 28nm HPM high-performance process, the MT6592 has eight CPU cores, each capable of clock speeds up to 2GHz. Its octa-core architecture is fully scalable, and the MT6592 runs both low-power and more demanding tasks equally effectively by harnessing the full capabilities of all eight cores in any combination. A MediaTek scheduling algorithm also monitors temperature and power consumption to ensure optimum performance at all times.
Other existing octo-core processors can only switch between using four cores at a time. For example, Samsung's Exynos 5410 is actually two quad-core chips packed together. One set of quad-core chips is designed for high-performance tasks, while the other is made to handle less intensive processes. But only four of the cores can be active at one time.
The MT6592 features a multimedia subsystem with a quad-core graphics engine, a video playback system supporting Ultra-HD 4Kx2K H.264 video playback and supports new video codecs such as H.265 and VP9, a 16-megapixel camera and a Full HD display. The SOC also features MediaTek ClearMotion technology for automatic frame-rate conversion of standard 24/30fps video to high-quality 60fps video for smoother playback.
The MT6592 also incorporates the MediaTek's multi-mode cellular modem and a full connectivity capability for dual-band 801.11n Wi-Fi, Miracast screen-sharing as well as Bluetooth, GPS and an FM tuner.
MediaTek's mobile SOC including the MT6592 have been using a Heterogeneous Computing (HC) architecture, distributing the workload to different kinds of processors and other specialized computing engines to optimize performance. These HC building blocks include the CPU, GPU, DSP, multiple connectivity engines, multiple multimedia engines, camera engines, display engines, navigation, and sensor cores.
"The MT6592 delivers longer battery life, low-latency response times and the best possible mobile multimedia experience. Being the first to market with this advanced eight-core SOC is testament to the industry-leading position of MediaTek," said Jeffrey Ju, MediaTek General Manager, Smartphone Business Unit.
"MediaTek has taken a pioneering position with the MT6592 by being the first to use the power-efficient ARM Cortex-A7 processor in an octa-core configuration with the ARM Mali GPU," said Noel Hurley, ARM Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division.
MediaTek's 8-core CPU will mainly power smartphones shipped in China released by Lenovo, ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad and Xiaomi Technology. Samsung is also reportedly looking to source quad- and 8-core mobile processors from MediaTek that will be used in some of its budget devices launching in 2014.
MediaTek is currently cooperating with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for the production of the 8-core chips, using a 28nm HMP process. The two firms are now jointly working on a 20nm process and also aim to begin producing the chips using a 16nm FinFET process in 2015.