MediaTek Inc has released a new 5 G smartphone chip that it hopes will be used in premium-priced Android smartphones, a market that Qualcomm Inc currently dominates.
The new Dimensity 9000 chip will be the world's first to use its manufacturing partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's N 4 chipmaking process, which helps make chips smaller and faster, according to the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based company. MediaTek said it will be the first smartphone chip to feature a powerful new computing core from Arm Ltd called the Cortex X 2.
MediaTek is one of only three firms in the world that makes 5 G phone chips, along with Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The fourth major player - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which also made its own phones - was forced out of the market by U.S. sanctions.
Huawei exit set off a move by Android phone makers to capture market share vacated by the Chinese brand. MediaTek already counts many of the contenders for the market share, such as Xiaomi Corp, Oppo and Vivo, but many of them use MediaTek for their low and mid-tier devices and rely on Qualcomm for higher-end models.
The 9000 chip is the first in a series of chips aimed at persuading customers to switch to MediaTek in their flagship devices, according to David Ku, MediaTek's chief financial officer.
Ku told Reuters that we need to have a strong army to march into the segment. One product is not enough - this is our starting point. MediaTek hit $10 billion in revenue for the first time last year, and Ku said it expects to hit $17 billion in revenue this year. He said that 5 G chips can sell for $30 to $50, while 4 G chips can sometimes sell for $10.
Ku said that the 4 G to 5 G transition makes the 1 driving factor the higher average selling price.