MediaTek has just announced two new 5G-compatible chipsets for upcoming phones: The Dimensity 1200 and 1100. Incrementally improving on the prior Dimensity 1000, these new chips pack better A78 cores, hit faster display refresh rates, and they're built in TSMC's newer 6nm node. Mediatek hopes they'll end up in your next phone — assuming you can live without mmWave 5G and can stomach the wait.

First, let's pull down the specs for both:

Dimensity 1200

Node TSMC 6nm
CPU 1x A78 @ 3.0GHz, 3x A78 @ 2.6GHz, 4x A55 @ 2.0GHz
GPU ARM G77 MC9
Storage UFS3.1 2-lane
Cameras 200MP single cam, 32MP+16MP dual cam
Display QHD+ @ 90Hz, FHD+ @ 168Hz
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, BT 5.2
5G Sub-6 2CC, 5G+5G DSDS
Misc APU 3.0, 4k60fps 10-bit AV1 decode, 4K 60fps 10-bit encode

Dimensity 1100

Node TSMC 6nm
CPU 4x A78 @ 2.6GHz, 4x A55 @ 2.0GHz
GPU ARM G77 MC9
Storage UFS3.1 2-lane
Cameras 108MP single cam, 32MP+16MP dual cam
Display QHD+ @ 90Hz, FHD+ @ 144Hz
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, BT 5.2
5G Sub-6, 2CC (FDD and TDD), DSS, VoNR, 5G+5G DSDS, 5G HSR Mode, 5G Elevator Mode
Misc APU 3.0, 4k60fps 10-bit AV1 decode, 4K 60fps 10-bit encode

The Dimensity 1100 and 1200 are very similar, but the 1200 has a "prime"-type core with a higher clock rate, supports higher resolution cameras, and can reach a higher maximum refresh rate for supported displays. There's also a 10% performance difference we're told in the APU between the two, and though precise GPU specifications weren't available, the Dimensity 1100 will hit a slightly lower framerate than its bigger brother in identical situations.

Excluding those differences, you can pretty much talk about these two chips as if they were the same. That includes being built to TSMC's newer and more dense 6nm node, the octa-core configuration of four A78s paired with four A55s, the ARM G77 MC9 GPU, support for UFS 3.1 2-lane storage, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and even AV1 hardware decode (which first debuted on the Dimensity 1000 as one of the first chips to support the feature).

Extra crunchy chips.

Though the Dimensity 1200 has a higher-clocked prime core, we're told the company intentionally didn't include one of those new substantially bigger and faster X1 cores, as Qualcomm did on the Snapdragon 888 — we assume to hit a more competitive price point. Battery life was also a primary consideration for the new chips, which could have made a difference.

While it's easy to discuss pure paper metrics, when it comes to modern heterogeneous compute workflows and things like the DSP and nebulous AI-powered workflows, it's harder to present as a nice concise list with numbers. MediaTek tells us that some of the changes in this chip to things like its APU and "HyperEngine" optimizations help with things like mobile gaming by enhancing touch response, maintaining multiple data connections while gaming, and bring new features like multi-person software bokeh, AI noise reduction, AI panorama night shots, and AI SDR to HDR conversion. We're even told there's ray tracing support, but before you get too excited, it's just software-based — literally any computer can do that, and performance will be not great.

Mediatek tells us the first phones with these chips will show up earlier than you might expect, starting in late Q1 and early Q2, though folks in the US will have to wait until later this year. If it's anything like last year, that could mean September or later.

On paper, this doesn't exactly bring the heat against Qualcomm's latest flagship hardware, but it's unlikely MediaTek is targeting the same segment. Last year's Dimensity ended up in devices you might expect to see a Qualcomm 600 or 700-series chip in. The T-Mobile LG Velvet with a Dimensity 1000C is just under $400, for example. Looking at the Snapdragon 765/765G strikes a much closer and more curious comparison. As usual, we'll have to wait and see how these latest chips actually perform before we come to any real judgment, but MediaTek has been been pulling ahead recently, outselling Qualcomm in the overall smartphone chipset market this last quarter.

Press Release

MediaTek Launches 6nm Dimensity 1200 Premium 5G SoC with Unrivaled AI and Multimedia  for Powerful 5G Experiences 

MediaTek also announces Dimensity 1100 5G chipset to give device makers even more design flexibility 

HSINCHU, Taiwan – Jan. 20, 2021 – MediaTek today unveiled its new Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity  1100 5G smartphone chipsets with unrivaled AI, camera and multimedia features for powerful 5G  experiences. The addition of the 6nm Dimensity 1200 and 1100 chipsets to MediaTek’s 5G portfolio  gives device makers a growing suite of options to design highly capable 5G smartphones with top of the  line camera features, graphics, connectivity enhancements and more. 

"MediaTek continues to expand its 5G portfolio with highly integrated solutions for a range of devices from the high-end to the mid-tier,” said JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of  MediaTek’s Wireless Communications Business Unit. “Our new Dimensity 1200 stands out with its  impressive 200MP camera support and advanced AI capabilities, in addition to its innovative connectivity, display, audio and gaming enhancements.” 

Key features of MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and 1100 5G chipsets include: 

The Most Out of 5G Every Day: The Dimensity 1200 and 1100 pack a highly integrated 5G modem  with MediaTek’s 5G UltraSave technology for big power savings. Both chipsets support every  connectivity generation from 2G to 5G, in addition to supporting the latest connectivity features  including 5G standalone and non-standalone architectures, 5G carrier aggregation (2CC) across frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD), dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS),  True Dual SIM 5G (5G SA + 5G SA) and Voice over New Radio (VoNR). The chipsets also integrate 5G  HSR Mode and 5G Elevator Mode enhancements to ensure a seamless, reliable 5G connection across networks. 

Flagship AI Multimedia: The Dimensity 1200 supports 200MP photos for stunning photography with  its five-core HDR-ISP. It boasts staggered 4K HDR video capture for significantly greater dynamic  range. The chipset integrates an updated version of MediaTek’s hexa-core AI processor (MediaTek  APU 3.0), which has an enhanced multi-task scheduler that reduces latency and improves power efficiency. The Dimensity 1100 also packs impressive camera capabilities with its 108MP camera  support, and integrates MediaTek’s existing APU 3.0 for high performance computing that’s also  super power-efficient. Both chipsets support AI camera features including AI-Panorama Night Shot,  AI Multi-Person Bokeh, AI noise reduction (AINR) and HDR capabilities. The chipsets also support  new AI-enhanced video playback features including AI SDR-to-HDR. 

Premium Performance: The Dimensity 1200 has an octa-core CPU designed with an ultra-core Arm  Cortex-A78 clocked up to 3GHz for extreme performance, three Arm Cortex-A78 super cores and  four Arm Cortex-A55 efficiency cores. With a nine-core GPU and six-core MediaTek APU 3.0, the  Dimensity 1200 delivers a new level of premium performance. The Dimensity 1100 is designed with  an octa-core CPU which includes four Arm Cortex-A78 cores operating at up to 2.6GHz and four Arm  Cortex-A55 efficiency cores, along with a nine-core Arm Mali-G77 GPU. Both chipsets are  manufactured on TSMC’s advanced 6nm process technology. 

Incredible Displays: The Dimensity 1200 supports ultra-fast 168Hz refresh rates for a fast, fluid user  experience. The Dimensity 1100 also supports cutting-edge displays with 144Hz refresh rates for  ultra-sharp, zero-lag visuals. Both chipsets support MediaTek’s HyperEngine 3.0 gaming  technologies, which includes 5G call and data concurrency for more reliable connectivity, plus multi touch boost touchscreen responsiveness. The new chipsets also support ray tracing in mobile games  and artificial reality applications for more realistic visuals, along with super hotspot and high FPS  power savings for extended battery life. 

Dual-Link True Wireless Stereo Audio: Dimensity 1200 and 1100 both support Bluetooth 5.2, which  lets users stream to multiple wireless devices simultaneously. The chipsets also support ultra-low  latency true wireless stereo audio and LC3 encoding for higher quality, lower latency streaming  audio that’s also very power-efficient to prolong the battery life of wireless earbuds.  

Dimensity 1200 has already received TÜV Rheinland certification for its 5G performance, with tests  covering 72 real-world scenarios. The certification verifies that the chipset provides reliable, high performance 5G connectivity and offers users high-quality 5G experiences across a wide variety of scenarios. 

The first devices with the new MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and 1100 chipsets are expected to hit the  market at the end of Q1 and beginning of Q2 this year.  

For full specifications and further details on MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and 1100, please visit:  https://i.mediatek.com/mediatek-5g 

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