Semiconductor Value Chain

MediaTek Takes ARM Cortex-A50 License

08 October 2013

Wireless and multimedia fabless chip company MediaTek Inc. has taken a "broad license" on the Cortex-A50 series processor cores and next-generation Mali graphics cores from processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc.

MediaTek has been a successful user of the combination of general purpose and graphics processors from ARM and the Cortex-A50 license adds high performance and an optional 64-bit mode of operation to MediaTek's cores for use in mobile system-chips and elsewhere.

Cortex-A50 series includes the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53, which are "big" and "little" processor cores, respectively, aimed at 20-nm implementation.

MediaTek has released one big-little chip, the MT8135, which is a quad-core device that includes two Cortex-A15 cores and two Cortex-A7 cores. However it should be noted that the MT8135 does use PowerVR Series 6 GPU from ARM's rival, Imagination Technologies Group plc.

MediaTek has also discussed the introduction of a "true-octa" chip that has eight cores and can operate in heterogeneous multiprocessing (HMP) mode whereby all eight cores can be used at once.

Further details of that octa-core chip are still awaited.

"MediaTek has taken the leadership position with the MT8135 mobile SoC being the first application processor to employ ARM's big-little architecture in a heterogeneous multiprocessing configuration," said Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager of ARM's processor division, in a statement.

Related links and articles:

Digital Television Semiconductors Post a Down Q1

Qualcomm, Samsung Lead Cellphone Chip Market in 2012

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