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Mediatek to offer LTE, 64bit ARM cores next year

Posted: 27 Dec 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Strategy Analytics  Mediatek  mobile SoC  ARM  big.LITTLE 

Mediatek has gone up to third place among mobile SoC vendors in Q3, and stated that it will ship chips with 64bit cores and LTE in 2014 as it makes a bid for markets beyond its stronghold in Asia.

Qualcomm rose to second place (behind Apple) in SoCs for tablets in the quarter in what one market watcher called a "dramatic turn."

The global smartphone applications processor market grew 31 percent from a year earlier to $4.9 billion, according to a Strategy Analytics report.

Qualcomm, Apple, Mediatek, Samsung and Spreadtrum were the top five revenue earners, capturing 80 percent of the smartphone SoC market in the quarter. Qualcomm continued to dominate the sector with a 53 percent revenue share. Mediatek took third place with 10 percent.

Mohit Bhushan, Mediatek's VP and GM of US corporate marketing, said the company will integrate LTE into its SoCs in 2014. It also will roll out SoCs with 64-ARM cores using ARM's big.LITTLE architecture, targeting tablet and handsets. The integration will make Mediatek's chips "very mainstream and ready for the US [and] the European market" as the company aims at higher-end devices.

Finbarr Moynihan, Mediatek's GM of international sales and marketing, said at a press conference: "Mediatek has been very strong in China, Southeast Asia, and doing better in Europe... but our marketshare in the US is still quite small. I think there's opportunity to ship more products, to have our customers ship more products. LTE is a key part of that."

Moynihan predicted that Mediatek will ship more than 200 million SoCs for smartphones by the end of the year. In 2014, it will continue to push its MT6592 octa-core processor internationally, though it will be in phones in Asian markets by yearend.

Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa processor hasn't attained the same success as its previous version. Strategy Analytics said the LTE-integrated chip "can enable Samsung to go after the high-volume mid-range market in 2014 and thus regain some volume share."

As Mediatek raises its game, it will compete with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chipset, which has gained strong traction in 2013 from Samsung, LG, Sony and Xiaomi smartphones, according to the report. The analysts called Qualcomm "the company to beat in mobile processors," citing its broad product portfolio and integration capabilities.

"While Qualcomm's LTE baseband technology and marketshare leadership are unquestioned, we believe that certain competitors' products are production ready and have the potential to take share from Qualcomm in 2014, especially in the mid to low tier," said Stephen Entwistle, a VP at Strategy Analytics.

The global tablet processor market grew 30 percent to $1.2 billion in Q3, according to another Strategy Analytics report. Apple dominated the market with a 40 percent share. Qualcomm rose to the No. 2 position (13 percent) due to design wins in the latest Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, the report said.

"The non-Apple tablet applications processor market leadership continues to be a game of musical chairs offering challenges and opportunities for vendors in the non-Apple tablet applications processor market," Entwistle wrote.

Intel took third place in tablet SoCs with a revenue share of eight percent. MediaTek came in fourth and said it expects to ship 20 million SoCs for tablets in 2013.

"For mainstream smartphones, we don't believe there is anything that requires a very big processor," said Bhushan. "But when you get into tablets, you need the burst of power big.LITTLE provides."

- Jessica Lipsky
  EE Times





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