MediaTek unveiled three new smartphone SOC’s during Computex Taipei. These launches will focus on driving 5G and LTE performance upgrades into lower price tiers. The three announcements show how 5G and advanced specifications are falling from the flagship space to the mid-tier very quickly. Here are the quick takeaways:
The Dimensity 930 SOC will drive additional features into mid-tier priced smartphones. Key callouts are its 2×6 configuration, upgraded CPU with next generation memory interfaces, upgraded camera support (64MP or optional 108MP support), and 5G plus 5G DSDS support. The next generation memory interface is a new memory technology and supply/availability will be improved (e.g. 2xLP5/2750MHz, 2xLP4x/2133MHz uFS3.1, 2-lane). Improved display technologies and an enhanced gaming experience will be attractive in mid-tier priced smartphones. The chip is built on the 6nm process node.
China will likely be the country driving significant share of volumes of the Dimensity 930. 5G sell through is already at about 80% with consumer awareness high. The Dimensity 930 will further help drive volumes within mid-tier priced smartphones.
MediaTek helio G99
The G99 is a LTE SOC with significant upgrades in performance. MediaTek is positioned to gain considerable 4G SOC market share. Many large volume countries and regions have limited or zero 5G rollouts (e.g. India). Other mature markets still have significant LTE volumes within the low price tiers (e.g. EU, NAM). This will be a significant LTE upgrade. First, switching to 6nm process from 12nm process node will yield significant power and performance gains. As important, foundry capacity within 6nm is larger so this will help with supply. Most major OEMs are expected to be announce G99 powered products to hit the market late in 2022 and into 2023. The bump in camera support (108MP) and high frame rates (120Hz) are notable performance increases which have trickled down from the premium tier.
The largest announcement is MediaTek’s unveiling of the Dimensity 1050. It is MediaTek’s first SOC supporting mmWave. MediaTek has had the technology ready but has held off until more countries rolled out mmWave. Today, the bulk of mmWave-enabled smartphones are sold in the US and South Korea. This chip will allow the company to seek design wins within US’ mid and high-tiers which have unofficially required mmWave (especially Verizon, lesser extent AT&T). We expect most OEMs to utilize three mmWave modules. The size of the module is very close to modules which are in the market today. We will track performance once devices are in the market.
The device supports 3x carrier aggregation with ability to aggregate mmWave spectrum and sub6 spectrum. The chip supports Release 16 updates. Smartphones with the Dimensity 1050 are expected in the market in Q3 2022. We suspect point-of-sale pricing of smartphones with the SOC will begin at about $650.
The sell through slowdown in China, COVID-19 lockdowns and macroeconomic conditions will affect the global smartphone market through 2022. MediaTek has guided to flat smartphone revenues in 2022 and 5G penetration (660-680 million units) eclipsing 50%. Further, 5G penetration is expected to reach 70% in the next two years. The launch of these three SOCs, MediaTek strengthens its mid-end portfolio and will help global mobile operators drive 5G sell through. The Dimensity 1050, the first mmWave solution from MediaTek, allows the company to gain higher ASP design wins in the US market. The Dimensity 930 will allow OEM partners to bring more performance into the $100-$299 point-of-sale price segments. Since LTE SOCs will remain in tight supply through 2022, the G99, if supply is solid, could drive significant LTE market share gains. Handset OEMs will use the LTE SOC to launch devices with significant performance improvements in the high volume segment of under $100 point-of-sale. This is an important price band in all regions. These new designs will drive high-end specifications into lower price tiers. It will also add additional competition within the 5G handset landscape. We look forward to testing these Dimensity-powered as they hit the market.