Mediatek Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture to power new 5G smartphones

Taiwan based Mediatek has announced the Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture that provides brands with more flexibility to customize key 5G mobile device features to address different market segments.  The open resource architecture gives smartphone brands closer-to-metal access to customize features for cameras, displays, graphics, artificial intelligence (AI) processing units (APUs), sensors and connectivity subsystems within the Dimensity 1200 chipset.   Devices powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture customized chipsets will hit the global market this month (July 2021).

Mediatek is one of only two semiconductor companies (Qualcomm is the other) that have developed and are selling 5G silicon on the merchant market (Huawei, Samsung and soon Apple will have 5G silicon for internal product use).   The company’s 5G chip sets are intended for 5G endpoint devices (like smartphones), rather than for base stations or small cells (where the equipment vendor designs their own ASICs).

“MediaTek is collaborating with the world’s largest smartphone brands to unlock customized consumer experiences that differentiate flagship 5G smartphones,” said Dr. Yenchi Lee, deputy general manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communications Business Unit. “Whether it’s novel multimedia features, unmatched performance, brilliant imaging or more synergy between smartphones and services, with our architecture device makers can tailor their devices to complement a variety of consumer lifestyles.”

Key ways that brands can customize the Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture includes multimedia experiences that allow access to the in-chip, multi-core AI and display processors. 5G smartphone brands can tailor multimedia experiences and unlock more synergy between the chipset and the smartphone’s display and audio hardware.  Brands will be able to sync the latest Bluetooth features with profiles to match their wireless accessories, such as headsets or gaming peripherals.

Hybrid multiprocessing is included.  It is the open resource architecture that gives 5G brands the freedom to fine-tune a device’s performance and power-efficiency.

2 thoughts on “Mediatek Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture to power new 5G smartphones

  1. WSJ Update- July 17, 2021:

    Gallium is taking over in many of the places that silicon once reigned supreme—from antennas to charging bricks and other energy-converting systems known as “power electronics.” In the process, it’s enabling a surprising array of new technologies, from faster-charging cellphones, to lighter electric vehicles, to more power-efficient data centers that run the services and apps we use.

    A byproduct of extracting aluminum from rock, gallium has such a low melting temperature that it turns into a runny, silvery-white liquid when you hold it in your hand. On its own, it isn’t terribly useful. Combine it with nitrogen, to make gallium nitride, and it becomes a hard crystal with valuable properties. It shows up in laser sensors used in many self-driving cars, antennas that enable today’s fast cellular wireless networks, and, increasingly, in electronics critical to making renewable-energy harvesting more efficient.

    Many of the most tangible things made possible by gallium nitride, also known as GaN, are happening in power electronics. Today, you can buy small USB-C chargers with enough juice to power your laptop, phone and tablet simultaneously, even though they are no bigger than the much less powerful versions that have for years come with our gadgets.

    The market for GaN power electronics is still quite nascent, however. In 2019, the entire market for all transistors was about $16 billion, whereas the market for the kind offered by Navitas, GaN Systems and others was $45 million, says George Brocklehurst, a vice president of research at Gartner.

    There are other potentially revolutionary materials that are beginning to compete with silicon, like graphene, but GaN microchips have the considerable advantage that they can be produced in the same sort of manufacturing facilities—called fabs—that make conventional microchips, says Stephen Oliver, head of marketing at Navitas.

    Because they don’t require the most advanced chip-manufacturing technology, GaN chips can be produced in older, paid-for fabs that might otherwise be idled. A fortunate side effect has been that GaN chip supply hasn’t been caught up in the wider global semiconductor shortage, says Mr. Oliver. Navitas’s chips are currently manufactured in the oldest fab still operated by TSMC, the Taiwanese chip-manufacturing titan.

    Where the material revolution hasn’t taken hold is in the biggest market for semiconductors: the processors powering our computers. Until recently, Dr. Oliver says, GaN has been good at doing only half the things that a traditional silicon transistor can do.

    So far, GaN can’t handle the electric-current flows needed to run the kind of computations carried out by traditional silicon logic chips. But recent findings suggest that may be changing.

  2. WSJ: 5G Expands to More-Affordable Phones as Chip Prices Fall

    5G is increasingly available in cheaper phones, making faster mobile service affordable to more lower-income consumers around the world, market researchers say.

    The key to this broader access to 5G service is the falling price of the specialized semiconductors needed for 5G phones, a trend that analysts expect to continue over the next two years. The lower price makes it economically feasible to put the chips in a wider range of phones.

    Already, 5G technology has moved beyond the premium smartphone market, in which devices sell for $550 or more, to the midtier market where devices sell for $250 to $550, and even cheaper 5G phones are available in some places, says Jeff Fieldhack, research director at Counterpoint Research.

    5G technology is “moving very quickly downwards in terms of affordability, faster than any previous generation,” says Frank Boulben, chief revenue officer of Verizon Communications Inc.’s Consumer Group. In Asia, prioritization of 5G chips by chip manufacturers in China and Taiwan is pushing chip prices lower and driving the production of budget 5G-capable devices, says Neil Shah, vice president of research at Counterpoint.

    The average price of a so-called 5G system-on-a-chip that performs multiple functions is now $40 to $45, according to Counterpoint. That price could reach $20 late this year or early next year, at which point it would make economic sense for more mobile-phone makers to put 5G chips in devices with a retail price of around $150, says Mr. Fieldhack.

    U.S. carrier Consumer Cellular Inc. expects to offer a 5G phone priced at $199 by June, and one priced at around $150 by early next year, according to Greg Hughes, the company’s vice president of portfolio strategy. Currently the company offers 5G-capable phones priced at $349 and higher. Mr. Hughes says he expects consumer adoption of 5G to increase when the technology is available in lower-priced smartphones.

    Globally, 5G capability will spread to at least 80% of phones priced under $200 over the next two to three years, from less than 5% now, says Runar Bjørhovde, research analyst at market-research firm Canalys.

    42% of smartphones shipped to retailers around the world in 2021 were 5G-capable, according to Counterpoint. That percentage is expected to increase to 54% this year and 66% next year, Counterpoint says. In the U.S., 58% of smartphones shipped to retailers were 5G-capable last year, and that percentage is expected to increase to 83% by the end of this year and to 89% by the end of 2023, Counterpoint says.

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