MediaTek gets a lot of flak—and, at least in part, it's deserved—but the company's products occupy a necessary niche. After pretty much every ARM chipset manufacturer excluding Qualcomm pulled out of the smartphone race in the early 10's, MediaTek was left to fill the entry-level void, and it has. The fact that its chipsets typically end up in lower-end devices means we're especially excited for today's news, as the company is launching the Helio A series destined for low to mid-range hardware, starting with the A22.
The quad-core A22 uses a 12nm FinFET node (probably TSMC's), which is pretty recent. Paired with MediaTek's CorePilot tech, the company claims the A22 should get decent battery life. It also "has AI features," that work with the company's NeuroPilot SDK for on-device machine learning applications, and it's compatible with more well-known frameworks like Google's NNAPI.
It supports dual cameras up to a 13MP+8MP configuration with 30FPS recording or a single camera at up to 21MP. The A22 also supports "HD+" display resolutions. Cat-4 and Cat-7 4G LTE are present, together with Cat-13 uploads, along with dual-sim support, VoLTE, and ViLTE. It's also compatible with both LPDDR3 and LPDDR4 for OEM flexibility. 802.11ac Wi-Fi support is also included.
To be honest, I always feel a little stunned when I see the stuff low-end hardware supports with every passing year. Not long ago 5GHz Wi-Fi and LTE weren't the kinds of things you could get in a cheap device, but thanks to MediaTek, features like that are a very real part of the entry-level mobile landscape. I'd love it if they could also start honoring the GPL, too.
The A22 isn't some far-off thing, either, as it's already in production. In fact, Xiaomi's Redmi 6A uses it. Let's hope it hits more devices soon, as I'd love to see feature improvements like these in more entry-level handsets.
MediaTek Introduces New Helio A Series Chipset Family to Power More Mid-Market Feature-Rich, Affordable Smartphones
HSINCHU, Taiwan – July 17, 2018 – MediaTek today unveiled its Helio A series, expanding its Helio family of feature-packed and power-efficient chipsets with the company’s new Helio A22 system-on-chip (SoC). MediaTek’s commitment to continuing to “change everything” can be seen throughout the “Advanced” Helio A series and its mission to power more innovative and more capable smartphones designed to meet the demands of today’s mid-market consumer.
MediaTek paved the way for New Premium devices – smartphones with high-end features at affordable prices – with the expansion of its Helio P family. Building on the success of the Helio P20, P22, P23 and P60 chipsets, MediaTek is introducing the Helio A series, bringing an even greater number of consumers access to high performance devices without a premium price tag. With powerful quad-core performance, incredible camera features, AI enhancements and remarkable power efficiency, the Helio A series is optimized for devices that offer a great value without sacrificing modern capabilities and features. MediaTek’s new Helio A22, the first chipset in its Helio A Series, is set to redefine what consumers can expect and demand in their smart devices.
“The Helio A Series continues our vision of a mobile marketplace that is accessible to everyone, where high-end features are not limited to high-end devices. As we’ve seen, mid-market growth continues to explode and there continues to be consumer interest in powerful and quality devices that offer them the best value,” said TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit at MediaTek. “With Helio A22, device makers can bring to market innovative devices that provide consumers unparalleled mobile experiences in the mid-range, including incredible performance, long battery life and advanced photography and AI enhancements.”
The Helio A22 is built with advanced 12nm FinFET fabrication technology to deliver high performance with greater power efficiency. Equipped with MediaTek’s CorePilot technology, the chipset optimizes power for each task to extend device battery life, enabling users to do more with their devices for longer. Helio A22 also has AI features to take advantage of the MediaTek NeuroPilot software development kit (SDK) extensions and third-party AI applications.
MediaTek’s Helio A22 offers exceptional camera capabilities, taking photography to the next level with AI enhancements. The chipset supports up to 13+8 megapixels dual-camera setups at 30 frames per second (FPS) and a single camera operating mode of up to 21 megapixels. Device makers can create stunning, large-screen devices with the Helio A22’s 20:9 HD+ display support.
The chipset supports the latest AI frameworks, including Google Android Neural Networks API (Android NNAPI), so developers can seamlessly build AI applications for Helio A22-powered devices.
Advanced connectivity is at the heart of the Helio A22 with an innovative RF design for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi co-existence. The chipset both Cat-4 and Cat-7 4G LTE performance for fast connectivity and packs a dual 4G SIM with VoLTE and ViLTE. Also A22 supports both LPDDR3 and the newer, faster LPDDR4 for more customer design flexibility.
The Helio A22’s GNSS location enhancements enable 57 percent faster TTFF, a 10 percent improvement in accuracy and up to 24 percent lower power operation compared to previous generation chipsets. With 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, MediaTek’s Helio A22 offers higher bandwidth and throughput, resulting in improved online gaming, multimedia and communications experiences for users. Also, the chipset supports BT5.0 for longer transport distance and higher speeds suitable for smart home devices.
The Helio A Series is in volume production now with the availability of the Helio A22-powered Xiaomi Redmi 6A in China.
About MediaTek Inc.
MediaTek Incorporated (TWSE: 2454) is a global fabless semiconductor company that enables 1.5 billion connected devices a year. We are a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip (SoC) for mobile device, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products. Our dedication to innovation has positioned us as a driving market force in several key technology areas, including highly power-efficient mobile technologies and advanced multimedia solutions across a broad range of products such as smartphones, tablets, digital televisions, OTT boxes, wearables and automotive solutions. MediaTek empowers and inspires people to expand their horizons and more easily achieve their goals through smart technology. We call this idea Everyday Genius and it drives everything we do. Visit www.mediatek.com for more information.