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MediaTek joins Samsung, Nvidia quad-core club

Mediatek is going after Samsung, Nvidia, and Qualcomm with a quad-core chip for high-end smartphones.


MediaTek will take on Samsung and Nvidia in the emerging market for mobile quad-core chips.

The Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company today announced the MT6589, a quad-core system-on-a-chip (SoC) that integrates a modem supporting HSPA+ and other international standards.

Integration of a modem into a quad-core chip is a first, the company says.

The processor is based on ARM's Cortex-A7 design, the same technology used in Qualcomm's upcoming quad-core S4 processors.

But that Qualcomm chip won't be available commercially until well into next year. The MediaTek chip, on the other hand, will appear in smartphones that are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2013.

That would make it the first quad-core chip based on the new Cortex-A7 design.

That said, there isn't exactly a dearth of quad-core competition. Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 is already used in phones from HTC. And the Galaxy S3 uses Samsung's new Exynos 4 Quad chip.

The MediaTek MT6589 supports 1080p 30fps/30fps low-power video playback and recording, a 13MP camera, and up to a 1,920x1,080 resolution display.

No carriers announced smartphones using the chip today. Those phone roll-outs are expected next year.