MediaTek has announced their latest SoC for smartphones and tablets recently which goes by the name of Helio X20. The new smart chip will have a 10 core System-on-a-Chip design which will be arranged to a tri-cluster orientation. Currently, smart chips available in the market are arranged in a dual cluster big.LITTLE heterogeneous CPU designs.

One of the clusters will have a low power quad-core A53 cluster clocked at 1.4GHz, another cluster will have a power/performance balanced quad-core A53 cluster clocked at 2.0GHz while the last cluster will have an extreme performance dual-core A72 cluster which clocked in at 2.5GHz.  On top of that to connect them together, MediaTek will use a custom interconnect IP called MediaTek Coherent System Interconnect (MCSI).

There are a few innovative that can be found from this SoC. One of them is MediaTek’s first CDMA2000 compatible integrated modem with Helio X20. The new X20’s modem supports LTE Release 11 Category 6 with 20+20MHz Carrier Aggregation (downstream) which means that the download speed is 300Mbps whereas the upload speed is 50Mbps. On top of that the new modem consumes 30% less power than the previous Helio X10 SoC. Furthermore, it is also integrated with 802.11ac Wi-Fi which has a single spatial stream up to 280Mbps as specified in the spec sheets.

It is surely going to be interesting to find out how this tri-cluster design will perform in the practice. The X20 samples are planning to be shipped in Q1 2016.

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