- Mediatek officials have dismissed concerns about the Dimensity 9000’s warming.
- Instead, a company director pointed his finger at competing chip designer Qualcomm.
Mediatek just announced the Dimensity 9000 processor, which aims to rival Qualcomm’s best flagship chipsets. Between the TSMC 4nm process, CPU layout, and impressive imaging capabilities, this chipset definitely has the potential to steal some thunder from Qualcomm and Samsung’s 2022 silicon.
The announcement also comes after reports earlier this year that the current Snapdragon 888 series processor, which is based on a Samsung 5 nm process, is suffering from overheating and / or throttling. Our own tests suggest that the Qualcomm chipset throttles later than the Samsung Exynos 2100 (but at the expense of endurance).
That makes us wonder if Mediatek has any concerns about the heating as well. However, the company’s Vice President and General Manager of Marketing Finbarr Moynihan expressed his confidence in the processor in an interview with Android Authority:
I think it’s pretty well understood that it is [the Snapdragon 888 series – ed] didn’t deliver the experience promised or expected, did it? I think what I would say is that we are very confident and of course we are testing this chip on our main customers and the feedback we are getting is very promising too.
“When it comes to device-to-device comparisons with our competitors, we believe we will have power consumption advantages for flagship products next year,” said the representative. Of course, we expect all the big players to switch to 4nm designs (be it from TSMC or Samsung) in 2022, which should lead to better energy efficiency.
“At the moment there is only one company that has problems with the heating. And we’re not, ”added Kevin Keating, Mediatek’s Global PR Director. “The competitor (Qualcomm) likes to throw that around at Mediatek, but we didn’t have any heating problems.”
The real proof will be in flagship devices next year, so we look forward to testing phones with Dimensity 9000 and next-generation Snapdragon SoCs.
On supply problems and mmWave
Another potential problem for Mediatek and the industry as a whole is global chip scarcity. We have already seen phones delayed due to the shortfall or limited releases to a few markets. But the company thinks it’s clear here.
“I think we’re very confident when it comes to things like the SoC,” says Moynihan, referring to its 4nm, 6nm, 7nm and 12nm products.
“I think the areas where we are balancing things might be power management, Wi-Fi, and we can make some tradeoffs internally on our portfolio,” he added, noting that their 5G wireless chips and 4G SoCs on the same process so that they can juggle production accordingly.
But I think we are confident that we have certainly secured enough capacity for the high-end segment for next year.
It’s also worth noting that the Dimensity 9000 doesn’t actually have mmWave support. But Moynihan told us we will see launches and equipment next year with the first mmWave-toting Dimensity chips coming in the tiers below the Dimensity 9000.
This is also supported by the fact that the company posted a slide (h / t: Anshel Sag on Twitter) at its Executive Summit this week suggesting that Mediatek-powered mmWave phones will be in the US $ 300+ segment in the next year. Dollars will hit the market.
Of course, mmWave is mostly used in the US, but the company doesn’t expect the new processor to break into that market. Still, it’s still a notable omission as competing SoCs from Qualcomm and Samsung offer this feature.
The premium flagship smartphone segment isn’t the only new focus for Mediatek, however, as CEO Rick Tsai noted last month that it is looking to team up with Microsoft for Windows-on-Arm computers. Moynihan repeated the same feeling.
“We recently announced that we are working on Windows on Arm. We aim to be in this area. I think you can see it in what is shown here [Dimensity 9000 – ed] that there is certainly an opportunity within the company to provide solutions that could achieve this Windows-on-Arm area, ”said Moynihan.
However, those expecting Mediatek-powered Windows computers in 2022 might be disappointed:
Don’t expect us to be in the room next year, this is kind of a longer term game for us. But our CEO, our senior management, has said this is an area we want to be in and we will work aggressively on that too.
The Mediatek rep also pointed out some potential hurdles for the company before releasing Windows on Arm chipsets.
“There are a lot of problems with GPU drivers, with software emulation, that take a lot of time and effort, ”explained Moynihan, adding that peripherals also add complexity to the challenge.
In any case, Mediatek seems to have a lot up the pipeline between a proper flagship chipset on paper, Windows on Arm plans, and affordable mmWave endeavors. But we are curious whether it will go as planned this time.