MediaTek is Taiwan’s biggest chip designer and is a leading semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions. Their SoC’s (system on chips) are economical and most of the entry level devices, including countless number of Chinese branded smartphones are powered by MediaTek. Apart from smartphones, their processors are found on array of devices. They are the market leader for System On Chip (SoC) system solutions in fields such as wireless communications, high-definition digital TV, optical storage, DVD, GPS and Blu-ray products.
In December, MediTek Inc. had officially launched its first quad-core SoC called the MT6589. According to the company, the MT6589 is world’s first commercially available quad-core Cortex-A7 System-on-Chip that supports the type of hardware used in today’s high-end phones. The devices using this SoC were slated to be available in Q1 of 2013, and Alcatel is going to launch the first MediaTek quad core phone, the Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD. Since CES 2013 is close and will kick off in few days (Jan 8th), the device will be among the bunch of devices that Alcatel will be displaying in their booth.
There aren’t many details on the Scribe HD, but as the name suggests, the device will have a high-definition screen, and should be booting Android as its OS and sport a screen of at least 4.3 or 4.5-inches. Though we don’t have much information on the internal hardware, we do know that it is using MT6589 SoC, and we have a lot of information about that already.
The MT6589 packs four Cortex-A7 processor cores and PowerVR SGX544 graphics, which allows it to handle 720p screens, 13MP cameras, and 1080p playback. The four cores can run at up to 1.2GHz. In the quad core competition, we have competitors like the Tegra 3 by NVIDIA, Exynos by Samsung, and the Snapdragon S4 Pro. The Cortex A7 cores are less potent than the cores that are used on other quad core chips, and as a result the MT6589 doesn’t score well when benchmarked, nevertheless, the performance is satisfactory. Also, since MediaTek produces cost effective solution, even the MT6589 will be very cheap compared to its counterparts, and MediaTek’s offering makes up for the performance loss by delivering superior efficiency in power management and heat dissipation department. So it’s either having a powerful phone which heats up a lot or shave a little performance in order to get a cooler phone. I would personally choose the latter.
We’re not sure which other manufacturers will be using this SoC on a mass scale, but there were reports that Sony was testing the very same SoC for use in their cheap quad core smartphones, but looks like they will opt for the new quad-core MSM8x26 chips by Qualcomm.
In addition to showcase its quad-core effort, Alcatel will also reveal the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra smartphone, which it claims is the thinnest smartphone yet. What are your thoughts on this? How much do you think Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD will cost?