MediaTek Helio X30 first consumer 10 nanometer chip

Thomas Wellburn
August 9, 2016

MediaTek has today announced the MediaTek Helio X30, beating Apple and Qualcomm to reveal the first consumer 10 nanometer chip.

The new chipset is built using TSMC’s 10nm FinFET architecture and crams in 10 cores like its predecessors. It’ll be competing against the likes of the Snapdragon 830 and next-generation Apple chipsets. Putting it against current chipsets like the 820, there should be a notable bump in performance as these are still produced using the older Samsung 14nm architecture.

In terms of hardware, MediaTek has once again included four Cortex-A73 chips as the muscle. Clocked at a massive 2.8GHz, they’ll be serving up the demanding use and keeping things running smooth. The other six cores are aimed at power efficiency, with four Cortex-A53’s clocked at a lower 2.2GHz (still pretty high) and a lesser dual-core setup consisting of a further two Cortex-A35’s clocked at 2.0GHz. The latter will be reserved for less demanding tasks such as when the handset it laying dormant.

MediaTek Helio X30 has quite a few changes

This is a bit of a design change from the Helio X20, which only included two Cortex-A72’s for the demanding tasks. Switching to a quad-core setup should offer a huge increase in performance but will likely eat up some serious battery life. That said, they seem to have somewhat counteracted this by adding a power-efficient dual core Cortex-A35 array for the simple stuff.

Another big departure from previous Helio X-series chipsets is the move to PowerVR as their graphics processor. Earlier models have always stuck to the ARM Mali series, with the X20 using a Mali 800 GPU. If PowerVR sounds familiar to you then there’s good reason for it, Apple use those GPU’s in their iPad and iPhone devices. The X30 features the latest PowerVR 7XT GPU, which itself is a quad-core design.

The chipset will support up to 8GB of low-power DDR4 memory, the latest UFS 2.1 speeds for fast storage and CAT12, which should mean blazing fast data speeds.

No word on a release date yet but since it has been announced, we reckon early 2017 is a fair assumption. They’ll want to get the jump on Qualcomm and Apple first.

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