MediaTek has announced that it has successfully developed its first chip using TSMC’s 3nm technology, taping out MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity system-on-chip (SoC) with volume production expected next year. MediaTek also detailed some of the improvements the chip will bring over the current generation flagship processor.
”This marks a significant milestone in the long-standing strategic partnership between MediaTek and TSMC, with both companies taking full advantage of their chip design and manufacturing strengths to jointly create flagship SoCs with high performance and low power features, empowering global end devices, ” said MediaTek.
With this development, MediaTek became the first semiconductor manufacturer to announce a 3nm chip. On the other hand, Apple is also expected to announce its A17 Bionic Processor for iPhones on September 12, which is again expected to be produced on a 3nm node from TSMC. Aside from this, there’s no word on the node the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 from Qualcomm will be on.
While detailing the improvements the chip would bring, MediaTek says that “TSMC’s 3nm process technology provides enhanced performance, power, and yield, in addition to complete platform support for both high-performance computing and mobile applications”. Compared with TSMC’s N5 process, TSMC’s 3nm technology is set to deliver an 18% speed improvement at the same power, or 32% power reduction at the same speed, and an approximately 60% increase in logic density.
The first devices from MediaTek that will be using this flagship Chipset using TSMC’s 3nm process is expected to power smartphones, tablets, intelligent cars and various other devices starting in the second half of 2024. It is expected that Dimensity 9400 will be MediaTek’s first chipset based on the 3nm node from TSMC.
What we know about upcoming chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Apple
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has already made an alleged appearance on the Geekbench 6 platform, while popular leaker Digital Chat Station has also revealed what we can expect from the processor. The prime core is said to be an ARM Cortex-X4, the performance cores are said to be an ARM Cortex-A720, and the efficiency cores are said to be an ARM Cortex-A520. The GPU is said to be the Adreno 750, compared to the 740 found in Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
On the other hand, according to the Geekbench listing, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will have one prime core running at 3.19GHz, five performance cores running at 2.96GHz, and two efficiency cores running at 2.27GHz. The single-core score stood at 1596, and the multi-core score was 5977 on Geekbench 5. The processor may make its debut in November during Qualcomm’s 2023 Snapdragon Summit.
Apple A17 Bionic
Coming to Apple’s A17 Bionic processor, which should debut on the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro models, the chip made a debut on Geekbench last month. It scored 3,269 points in the single-core test and 7,666 in the multi-core test. These scores show an approximate 23% boost to single-core performance and a massive 26% jump in multi-core.
A previous leak about Apple’s chip suggested that it comprises of six CPU cores and six GPU cores. The current A16 Bionic chip powering the iPhone 14 Pro models includes six CPU cores and five GPU cores. The A17 Bionic SoC is said to offer a maximum clock speed of 3.70GHz, up from the 3.46GHz clock rate of the A16 chip. Lastly, it could be the first mass-produced chip based on TSMC’s 3nm node. The chip should debut on September 12, 2023.
MediaTek Dimensity 9300
As for the upcoming Dimensity 9300 from MediaTek, a leak from DCS last month gave us a glimpse at the improvements the chip is supposed to pack. According to the tipster, it will comprise an 8-core CPU design consisting of 4 x Cortex-X4 and 4 x Cortex-A720 cores, along with the Immortalis G720 GPU. Switching from smaller cores to bigger ones is expected to boost performance and reduce power consumption.
Then, the Dimensity 9300’s Cortex-X4 cores will apparently deliver a 15% performance jump and a 40% reduction in power consumption. Additionally, the Cortex-A720 cores could get a 20% increase in energy efficiency. It could be built on TSMC’s N4P (4nm) process. The MediaTek Dimensity 9300 also aims to outperform Apple’s A17 Bionic chip by reducing power consumption by over 50% over Dimensity 9200 and also being more powerful overall than the A17 SoC. Rumours are afloat that the chip will debut sometime during next month.