Taiwanese fabless chip company MediaTek Inc., which has been rapidly climbing the semiconductor vendor rankings, announced the creation of a strategic investment arm.
MediaTek Ventures is headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and will invest in startup companies in Greater China, Europe, Japan and North America. The unit has been given $300 million to invest.
The announcement comes a few months after MediaTek was revealed to be a member of a consortium led by SummitView Capital that would create a 10 billion yuan (about $1.7 billion) fund to acquire global semiconductor design companies and help them expand their market share in China.
MediaTek Ventures is a more conventional strategic investor, along the lines of Intel Capital. MediaTek said its venture capital arm would invest in startups in semiconductor systems and devices, Internet infrastructure, services and IoT, with the goal of creating a collaborative ecosystem around communication, computing, online media and analytics. The group is free to invest at all stages of funding, the company said.
"We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence," said David Ku, chief financial officer of MediaTek, in a statement. "Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered."
Further details of the investment strategy and roadmaps will be made available in the second half of 2015, the company said. MediaTek placed 10th in a global ranking of chip companies by IHS Technology based on preliminary estimates of 2014 sales revenues.
Meanwhile, the company has also announced the a 64-bit octa core application processor for smartphones—the MT6753—and a quad-core tablet processor that includes ARM's Cortex-A72, the industry's highest performing mobile CPU, the MT8173.
The MT6753 has eight Cortex-A53 (little) 64-bit processor cores and a Mali-T720 GPU and is aimed at mid-tier smartphones. It includes multimedia support up to 1920 by 1080 pixels at 60fps and has an integrated 4G LTE modem and RF support. The LTE modem is Rel. 9, Category 4 supporting both FDD and TDD LTE with 150 Mbit/s downlink, 50 Mbit/s uplink. The MT6753 is compatible with the previously announced MT6735 for entry smartphones and therefore helps handset makers to simplify product development and reduce time to market. The MT6753 is sampling with commercial devices due to be available in 2Q15.
The MT8173 is designed with a 64-bit big-little architecture that combines two Cortex-A72 CPUs and two Cortex-A53 CPUs. It is intended to meet demand for 4K Ultra HD content and graphic-heavy gaming and boasts a six-fold increase in performance compared to the MT8125 released in 2013. MT8173 offers up to 2.4GHz performance, supporting OpenCL with the deployment of MediaTek Corepilot 2.0, and enables heterogeneous computing between the CPU and GPU.
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