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MediaTek targets ARM chipset at $160 Android smartphones

MediaTek has introduced its latest silicon chipset platform for mid and entry-level Android smartphones, writes Richard Wilson.

The MT6575 platform offers a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processer, 3G/HSPA modem and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release.

For mid-range smartphones, the MT6575 platform supports 720p high-definition video playback and recording with an 8MP camera and qHD (960×540) high-resolution displays via a PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies.

“During 2011 the Cortex-A9 processor has powered many of the most up-to-date and highest performance smartphones. The proliferation of Cortex-A Series processors into lower cost, mainstream mobile devices will deliver a significant uplift in the user experience,” said Laurence Bryant, director of mobile, ARM.

“We expect significant growth in entry and mid-level smartphones, with wholesale prices under $190, over the coming years,” said Neil Mawston, executive director, global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics.

“We forecast that this segment will almost triple in size from 191 million shipments in 2012 to 551 million by 2016. At that time, we also expect approximately 75% of those entry and mid-level smartphones to ship to emerging markets,” said Mawston.

The chipset, fabbed in 40nm process technology, also supports entry-level smartphones with smaller display sizes, lower resolution, less memory and reduced multimedia requirements.

MediaTek’s 2nd generation MT6573 platform – i.e., the platform that powers the Lenovo A60, China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub-RMB 1000 (approx. $160) smartphone category.

The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform will hit the market in the first quarter of 2012.

Richard Wilson

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