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MediaTek forecast to edge up on Qualcomm

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), the leading supplier of chips for Chinese smartphones, could increase its market share with its first 64-bit octa-core processor, according to market research firm NPD DisplaySearch.

Coded MT6795, the recently unveiled “true” octa-core smartphone chip that supports fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) services is likely to help MediaTek narrow the gap with the global market leader Qualcomm Inc., the market research firm said.

“Although the MT6795 does not have the most advanced specifications in every aspect, it certainly puts pressure on the mobile system on-chip (SoC) leader, Qualcomm,” Tina Teng, senior analyst of smartphones at DisplaySearch, wrote July 18 in a blog post on her company's website.

The new 64-bit smartphone chip supports 2K displays with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and is expected to be in use by the fourth quarter of 2014, according to MediaTek, which is based in Hsinchu.

Teng said however that what makes the MT6795 unique is not just the support of 2K display, but the fact that it runs at a 120Hz refresh rate as opposed to the 60Hz rate more commonly found in smartphones.

The higher refresh rate also means twice as much data being processed and an improvement of user interface and the visual experience on video displays, Teng said.

Excellent power management and heat dissipation, however, will be needed to maintain the chip's expected performance, she said.

The MT6795 is a more advanced version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 610 in terms of the 120Hz 2K display support but does not have the faster LTE category 6/7 data transmission speed of 301.5 megabits per second (Mbps) or 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) primary display support, the analyst noted.

“However, the industry is still arguing whether consumers can tell the difference between 2K and 4K displays on a smartphone,” Teng said.

She forecast that 2K displays will account for 3.1 percent of smartphone shipments in 2014 and 7.5 percent in 2015.

With an LTE category 4 data transmission speed of only 150.8 Mbps, the MT6795 might have “limited success” in the premium smartphone segment in more developed markets, where MediaTek has only a limited footprint, Teng projected.

MediaTek had earlier announced two other 64-bit products, MT6732 and MT6752, which support lower resolutions of HD and full-HD displays, respectively.

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