MediaTek’s New MT6588 Chip to Impact Mobile Industry?

3 Oct

News regarding MediaTek’s MTK6588 chip, set to be released during 1Q13, have already been spreading throughout the industry. MTK MT6588 features a quad core A7 processor, and is manufactured using the 28nm process. According to a recent coverage from the Commercial Times, analysts from Barclays Capital have indicated that the earliest period the chip will be released may be during 4Q12. Given how a single MTK6588 is set to be priced at a competitive $18 to $20 USD range, the prospects of seeing smartphones that costs less than $1000 CYN is no longer as implausible as it once appeared.

As mentioned by Barclays Capital’s analysts, other than promoting, in advance, the quad-core MTK MT6588 and the 28nm quad-core MT6583, for the fourth quarter of next year, MediatTek also plans to launch the 8-core ARM-based MT6599, which supports LTE as well as TD-SCDMA and WCDMA. It is apparent that MediaTek is developing and advancing at a faster-than-expected rate, given how it has been creating a huge impact within the 3G smartphone territory and is making the push to catch up with other major chip manufacturers.

As an interesting side note, Barclays Capital has pointed to the following 7 facts about MT6588:

  1. The chip’s transition from the 40nm to 28nm manufacturing process only took a total of 4 quarters. This is significantly shorter than the usual 8 to 10 quarters.
  2. Instead of A9, MT6588 opted for the more power efficient A9 processor
  3. MT6588 gives significantly better graphical performance, and supports 3D due to Imagination SGX544
  4. The SRAM Free Driver IC has been utilized in order to lower panel costs
  5. The MT6588 chip is able to support 13 megapixel camera quality
  6. MT6588 will be priced at around $18 USD to $20 USD, giving it a competitive edge over the high-end, $30 to $40 USD S4 chip
  7. There is a high chance that the MT6588 release date will be in 4Q12, one quarter ahead of schedule

Regarding MT6588’s impact on the market and MediaTek’s revenue, Barclays Capital has made a mention of 5 possible scenarios:

  1. The prices of quad-core smartphones in China may drop from $320 USD to less than $150 USD
  2. In the future, more products will be supporting dual-core Krait 1.7GHz MSM8960A and quad-core MSM8974 rather than 8225Q.
  3. MT6583/MT6588 will account for about 50% of the smartphone chip shipments during 4Q12. The proportion is expected to stay roughly the same even after the 4Q14 release of the MT6599 chip. With this, shipment prediction values are set to increase.
  4. MT6588 will help to maintain overall ASP at above the $10 USD mark, in turn allowing for a uniform system design for clients
  5. The chip is expected to help allow 13 megapixel CMOS and power amplifying manufacturers to place their focus on China and other emerging markets

Recently, news has spread that Lenovo is already getting ready to launch the MT6588 quad-core smartphone, known as Arkansas, at around October and November. On the other hand, MediaTek’s partner, Gionee, is also reported to be working on a MTK6588-based smartphone. From these trends, it appears MTK6588 quad-core smartphones are getting closer to creating a major impact within the industry. With the 8-core MTK 6599 ready for release next year, it is likely that MediaTek has a lot surprises in store for us.

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