5G may well be the future but it seems that all 5G phones, for the foreseeable future will be expensive and out of the reach of many people. Chinese chip manufacturer Mediatek, known for affordable chipsets, is hoping to corner this market with a new processor with inbuilt 5G modem announced today.
At this stage Mediatek have not found a name for their new processor but have informed us that the new chipset will incorporate a Helio M70 5G modem. The new chipset will of course work with existing 3G and 4G networks and will also work with sub-6GHz 5G NR networks but not with the higher frequency mmWave networks that we will eventually see land here.
mmWave bands are extremely high frequencies starting from 26GHz and offer higher bandwidth for the user and carriers. Carriers in Australia are expected to gain access to the mmWave frequencies here towards the end of next year. Eventually our networks will use a combination of these two technologies.
Mediatek’s new chipset is rated for 4.7Gbps down and 2.5Gbps up — seems enough to me — and is built using a 7nm process with the latest ARM A77 cores and Mali-G77 GPU hopefully making it snappy and as power efficient as possible. The new chip supports 4K video encode/decode at 60fps and a super high resolution camera (80MP) making it attractive to many manufactures you can be sure.
Also onboard the new chipset is a new APU 3.0 AI processing unit but little is known about that at this stage — of course we expect it to do more, and faster, than the previous iteration.
Mediatek will have samples of the chips out to phone manufacturers in Q3 of this year and we should start seeing them arrive in phones at the start of next year. That is a long way away and you can be sure that the other players in the game will also be trying to crack the affordable 5G chipset market.
The thing to come out of this is that hopefully, and not before too long, 5G will not just be the playground for the well off.