MediaTek announces Helio X20 with 10 CPU cores

MediaTek has just announced the Helio X20 that’s designed to compete with similar high-end smartphone and tablet chips from companies like Qualcomm and Samsung. MediaTek has opted for four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 1.4 GHz for low-power tasks, four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 2.0 GHz for a balance of performance and power consumption, and four new Cortex-A72 cores at 2.5 GHz for high performance tasks. The cores are all interconnected via a custom system called the MediaTek Coherent System Interconnect (MCSI).

Its most interesting feature is a new CPU design that’s the first of its kind. Rather than opting for a traditional quad-core or octa-core setup with one or two core clusters, the Helio X20 features a ten-core CPU that’s divided into three clusters, which improves upon the widely used ARM big.LITTLE CPU design.

By opting for a tri-cluster design with ten CPU cores, the Helio X20 is 30% more power efficient than similar two-cluster designs. As the CPU is built on a 20nm manufacturing process, everyone is looking forward for the latest Exynos and upcoming Snapdragon SoCs, it’ll be interesting to see how power efficiency compares.

The Helio X20 also features a 64-bit LPDDR3 memory controller clocked at 933 MHz for 14.9 GB/s of bandwidth, a 32-megapixel dual-ISP, 10-bit 4K HEVC/H.265/VP9 decoding and 4K HEVC encoding, and an integrated modem supporting LTE Category 6.

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