MediaTek has just revealed its new Helio P70 SoC, the successor to the Helio P60, which was announced earlier this year. The marketing focus this time around is on improved AI-related operations, subsequently improved camera performance, and a better gaming experience. And, of course, it wouldn't be a chipset announcement if we weren't guaranteed power efficiency improvements. But on paper, the P70 sounds almost identical to the P60.

Specs

CPU configuration Octa-Core: 4x ARM Cortex-A73 up to 2.1GHz; 4x ARM Cortex-A53 up to 2.0GHz; 2MB L2 cache total
Memory support LPDDR4x (Up to 8GB, 1800MHz)
Storage support eMMC 5.1 or UFS 2.1
GPU ARM Mali-G72 MP3 @ 900MHz
APU Dual-core, Multi-threaded APU
Camera 24+16MP or 32MP
Video decode 1080P @ 30FPS, H.264/HEVC
Video encode 1080P @ 30FPS, H.264
Max display support 2400 x 1080 (Full HD+) 20:9
Modem LTE Cat 7 (DL) / Cat-13 (UL) (FDD/TDD), 2x2 UL CA, TAS 2.0, HUPE, IMS (VoLTE\ViLTE\WFC), eMBMS, Dual 4G VoLTE (DSDS), Band 71
BT/Wi-Fi connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Misc. GNSS options, FM

Like the P60 before it, the P70 uses TSMC's 12nm FinFet node with eight cores total: four A73 cores at 2.1GHz and four A53 cores at 2.0 GHz. There's also an AI-purposed multicore APU at up to 5.25MHz, and a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU at up to a 900MHz clock— ostensibly providing a 13% improvement over the GPU in the P60. In fact, the only CPU/GPU difference between the P60 and the P70 is a marginal increase in clock.

The P70 gets the same NeruoPilot platform and SDK compatibility with other machine learning systems like TensorFlow, Caffe, and TF Lite. Although MediaTek wasn't explicit about performance or numbers earlier this year, the P70's WorldMode modem supports 4G LTE at up to 300Mb/s with dual-sim support.

When it comes to the ISP and camera hardware, the P70 can talk to one 32MP camera or up to a 24MP+16MP paired configuration. There's an improved "deep-learning facial detection" method built in with up to 90% accuracy, "real time human pose detection," beautification overlays, object and scene identification, and an advertised 18% power savings in the ISP — I assume over the P60. It also supports a handful of methods for HDR, PDAF, multi-frame noise reduction, MEMA 3DNR, and a list of other performance improvements in existing operations.

MediaTek is targeting the Helio P70 at what it calls the "New Premium" market, which is a fancy way of saying "mid-range." The P60 ended up in phones around the $300-400 price range like the OPPO F9 Pro, and I assume the P70 will mostly end up in similar handsets, targeted and sold primarily in Asian markets like India and China. It's in production as we speak, with consumer availability in phones pegged for as early as next month (November).

Press Release

MediaTek’s Helio P70 Brings Advanced AI and Premium Upgrades To Mid-Range Devices

Helio P70 with enhanced AI and upgraded CPU & GPU offers higher performance, better camera features, quicker connectivity and more efficient power consumption for a superior user experience

HSINCHU, Taiwan – October 24, 2018 – MediaTek today announced the launch of the Helio P70 system-on-chip (SoC), with an enhanced AI engine combined with CPU and GPU upgrades for more powerful AI processing. Helio P70 also comes with upgraded imaging and camera support, a gaming performance boost and advanced connectivity features. The Helio P70 packs all these upgrades into an ultra power-efficient chipset to meet the most demanding user needs.

The introduction of the Helio P70 follows the global launch of the Helio P60 earlier this year, and builds on its hallmark features to power the “New Premium” market of full-featured smartphones at affordable price points.

Built with TSMC’s 12nm FinFET technology, the Helio P70 features a multi-core APU operating at up to 525 MHz for fast and efficient edge-AI processing. To maximize the performance of demanding AI applications, the chipset packs four Arm Cortex-A73 2.1 GHz processors and four Arm Cortex-A53 2.0 GHz processors in an octa-core big.LITTLE configuration. For an additional power boost, the chipset has an improved Arm Mali-G72 MP3 GPU operating at up to 900 MHz, which provides a 13 percent performance improvement compared to the Helio P60.

“With an enhanced AI engine that works seamlessly across the CPU and GPU, Helio P70 delivers much faster performance for AI applications and is still highly power efficient,” said TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit. “The introduction of Helio P70 continues MediaTek’s commitment to deliver high-end smartphone features and advanced technology for the mass market.”

Enhanced AI Engine 
Helio P70’s enhanced AI engine delivers a 10 to 30 percent AI processing boost compared to the Helio P60. That means Helio P70 can support more complex AI applications such as real-time human pose recognition and AI based video encoding.

MediaTek’s AI  video encoder  enhances  video call quality even when connection bandwidth is limited. It can be used for video calls including Skype calls, Facebook video calls and Youtube live video streaming.

Helio P70 is built on MediaTek’s NeuroPilot platform, the company’s comprehensive hardware and software ecosystem to support edge AI. NeuroPilot supports common AI frameworks, including TensorFlow, TF Lite, Caffe, Caffe2 and custom third party offerings.

Fluid Gaming  Experience
Helio P70 GPU enhancements also deliver a better overall gaming experience. It’s optimized to reduce frame-rate jitter and improve latency for touch controls and display visuals for a smooth, fluid gaming experience.

High Performance Camera Features
Helio P70 supports a variety of AI-infused photo and video experiences including real-time beautification, scene detection and artificial reality (AR) capabilities. The chipset features improved deep-learning facial detection with up to 90 percent accuracy. With support for a super-sized 32MP single camera, or 24+16MP dual cameras, the chipset gives device makers more design flexibility. Its three ISPs are tuned to provide significant power savings, reducing consumption by 18 percent compared to previous Helio generation dual-camera setups.

Seamless Connectivity 
Helio P70 comes with a 4G LTE modem and 300MBit/s of download performance. Dual 4G VoLTE support provides a seamless user experience across two different SIMs for higher quality calls and faster connection times. Helio P70 also features MediaTek’s smart antenna technology, which automatically uses the best antenna combination to sustain signal quality.

The Helio P70 is in volume production now, and is expected to be available in consumer devices by November of this year.

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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.comfor more information.

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