Qualcomm may have a dominant hold on the high-end processor market, but MediaTek can officially say they’ve won the race to shipping a CPU using a 10nm process. The latest from MediaTek, the Helio X30 CPU, looks like it’s going to be a very attractive substitute for an OEM that wants something powerful but budget-friendly in their devices.
Last year’s Helio chips were built on a 20nm process, so this is a substantial jump for the X30. It’s a 10-core processor with four Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.8 GHz, four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 2.2 GHz, and two Cortex A35 cores clocked at 2 GHz. Those are some legitimately impressive clock speeds for a mobile processor. On the side of graphics, the X30 is paired with a PowerVR 7XT quad-core GPU, and that powerful GPU means this chip will be able to support virtual reality applications, which is a huge deal for cheaper phones. Right now VR seems to be reserved for only high-end devices, although it’s starting to trickle down to more mid-range phones. An affordable MediaTek chip is going to open the door even more for cheaper phones to be able to support virtual reality.
Other specs of the X30 include support for up to 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, the latest UFS 2.1 standards, support for up to 26-megapixel cameras plus dual camera setups, and a modem capable of carrier aggregation that supports Cat.12 LTE.
There’s no word yet on availability or pricing for the Helio X30, but MediaTek tends to strike well below Qualcomm’s price tags. That’s good news for cheaper phones going forward.