Spotlight on Chipset Innovations | TelecomDrive.com
As 5G is fast emerging as the mainstream technology for all telecom networks across different global markets and also in India, MediaTek is at the forefront of enabling innovations and power up 5G capable devices across a wide range of market segments. MediaTek is also helping its customers with great gaming experience on their devices. MediaTek HyperEngine gaming technology is at the forefront of the innovation in gaming, powering several gaming smartphones which are popular in the market today.
Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India interacts with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com on the success of MediaTek, its increased focus on 5G, gaming and how the company is realising the full potential of technologies such as NB-IoT and LoRaWAN with the help of its products.
MediaTek has done wonderfully well as a company, over the past few years. What is the secret of your exponential success and how do you look at the near future?
MediaTek is a leader in chipset innovation, powering nearly 2 billion devices a year. MediaTek continues its legacy as the no.1 chipset provider for smart TVs, voice assistants and smartspeakers, and has also retained the no.1 position in the smartphone chipset segment in 2021. While the current market demand for 4G and 5G chipsets has contributed to this accelerated growth, our capabilities to deliver on demand along-with market readiness has largely helped us sustain and accelerate this momentum.
In today’s highly dynamic market scenario, there is a need to step up research and innovation, to be able to deliver quality products and solutions on time. MediaTek designs chipsets with a futuristic mind, incorporating the latest technology trends that every user looks at in his/her device. We continue to focus and invest in R&D for the industry with a breakthrough innovation that expands the capabilities across advances such as camera technologies, power saving enhancements, latest networking technologies and standards, gaming, AI as well as other technology trends that make the devices smarter and more productive.
MediaTek is committed to technology democratization and we believe the benefits of the technology should reach every segment of society. Over the past couple of years, we have also increased our focus on 5G chipsets targeting a wide range of devices, from entry-level to medium and to premium flagship segments. The path breaking Dimensity 5G series with several enhancements like integrated 5G in-chip and advanced 4nm process is making inroads to 5G smartphones in India.
Thanks to MediaTek’s commitment to innovation, MediaTek now leads the smartphone SoC market with a 40% share and every 2 in 5 smartphones are now powered by MediaTek chipsets. In India, we have emerged as the preferred chipset vendor for smartphone OEMs.
The company is already touching to power about 2 billion devices globally – where is the next level of growth going to come from?
With 5G emerging as the mainstream network technology across all markets, and also in India, our focus will be to deliver 5G capable devices across a wide range of audiences. Currently, the market for 5G smartphones is limited to a niche audience; however, this is likely to change in the next couple of years when 5G gains mass adoption. Thus, there is a need to focus on devices that appeal to the mass market but are capable of delivering superior performance and advanced feature sets. MediaTek already has built an exhaustive portfolio of 5G chipsets including Dimensity 720, Dimensity 800, Dimensity 1000, Dimensity 1200 and more. Of late, recent launches like Dimensity 900 and Dimensity 9000 have set new benchmarks for the 5G smartphone market in India.
In the backdrop of the government’s Atmanirbhar initiative, we have also increased the focus on indigenous manufacturing and have been supplying chipsets for leading smartphone makers like Micromax and Lava. We have also collaborated with companies like VVDN Technologies and Tessolve to accelerate the adoption of smart devices across segments like smarthomes, enterprise, logistics and others. In view of the current developments around AI, IoT, Cloud and 5G, we believe, for MediaTek in India, the next level of growth will come from not only smartphones but also smart devices like smart speakers, WiFi routers, voice assistants, smart TVs, and a wide range of AIoT and Edge applications.
There is a lot of buzz around 5G and gaming seems to be a big use case when it comes to elevating user experience. What has MediaTek got in store to enable seamless 5G driven gaming experience?
Mobile gaming is evolving at a speed never imagined before thanks to the advancements in the data network and chipset technologies. Market reports reveal that mobile games now contribute around 66% of the App Store revenue share.
MediaTek HyperEngine gaming technology is at the forefront of the innovation in gaming, powering several gaming smartphones which are popular in the market today. MediaTek HyperEngine packs upgrades for the 5G-era, adding a wealth of new features to speed up game load times, create reliable and low-latency connections by managing multiple networks, manage resources intelligently to provide consistently high FPS while also maximizing battery life, and offer new tools for development artists that can improve in-game image quality.
The latest, MediaTek HyperEngine 3.0 now comes with the third generation of call and data concurrency allowing the user to keep a 5G data connection open and uninterrupted for their game, while simultaneously making or accepting a VoLTE call on the second SIM. With the High Speed Rail (HSR) mode the smartphone will search and connect to the lowest latency available cell tower to minimize online ping. This is particularly advantageous when travelling fast, as the relative distance – and thus latency – to each tower changes rapidly.
MediaTek’s second generation Rapid Response provides a direct, chip-level connection to the touchscreen at a minimum of 240Hz ensuring lowest latency and fastest response of touch-input. Reliable Multi-Peripheral Coexistence ensures that the wireless environment is carefully managed to avoid interference and keep them reliably and seamlessly connected with low latency. MediaTek has optimized Bluetooth audio to minimize latency between game audio encoding and BT signal sending, creating an ultra-low latency pipeline that’s up to 60% faster than proprietary competitor alternatives.
We have a dedicated portfolio for gaming chipsets. The Helio G series of chipsets are designed to deliver an incredible gaming experience through an array of technologies that boost the mobile gaming experience, ranging from vivid visuals and rapid sensing touchscreens to enhancing the connection between your smartphone and the internet. Additionally, all the latest chipsets from MediaTek incorporate the advanced HyperEngine technology so that users get the best of all the worlds, in terms of connectivity, collaboration, gaming and more.
MediaTek has been investing a lot of its efforts in its India operations. What can we expect from the company in the year 2022?
MediaTek, through its innovation centres in Noida and Bengaluru, has been investing hugely in technology and human resources in the recent past. We realize innovation is crucial to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. The initiatives in India are in congruence with MediaTek’s innovation strategies globally. The company had invested about 77 billion New Taiwan Dollars back in 2020 on R&D, and now it is set to cross the 100 billion in 2021.
In India, MediaTek has set an aggressive hiring plan, with a focus on artificial intelligence technologies, smart home and enterprise segments, 5G and wireless communications, among others. We are also pursuing the Make in India opportunities in collaboration with leading manufacturers in not only smartphones but also devices like digital TVs, voice assistant devices, Wi-Fi routers and other smart home products.
In the smartphone segment, we look to widen the portfolio with a range of mainstream, premium and flagship products. With the recently announced Dimensity 9000 chip, we have achieved a new milestone in flagship 5G smartphones in India. Built on the most power efficient 4nm package, the chipset ensures superior 5G speeds and next-gen gaming technology, professional-grade imaging, videography, advanced AI and computing architecture. Building on this momentum, we hope to sustain the leadership across all smart devices segments in India and thus realize the vision of technology democratization.
MediaTek is already addressing a huge smart device ecosystem with 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi technologies. How do you look at emerging technologies such as LoRaWAN which involves connecting networks of sensors. ? How can MediaTek play a role here?
The proliferation of IoT network and devices has led to the demand for low-power technologies like NB-IoT and LoRaWAN. They are especially useful in crowded areas, remote places and challenging terrains. In India, these technologies can find a wide range of applications especially in farming, industrial asset management, utilities, traffic management, logistics management and more. According to LoRa Alliance, LoRaWAN network coverage is expanding quickly, with 163 network operators in 177 countries currently installed and growing. Statista estimates say LoRaWAN and NB-IoT are expected to account for around 85.5% of all LPWAN connections by 2023.
As a leading chipset player, MediaTek has already invested in these technologies, especially in NB-IoT. MediaTek MT2625, an NB-IoT R14 enabled SoC, announced as early as 2017, enables ultra-low power and cost effective IoT devices for a wealth of applications ranging through home, civic, industrial or mobile use. Its highly integrated design incorporates an NB-IoT modem DSP, antenna RF and base-band analogue front-end, in addition to the high-performance computing elements. The modem is highly customizable, enabling CSPs to configure them based on the local or international frequency requirements.
As 5G gains popularity in India, we foresee a greater opportunity for NB-IoT and LoRaWAN to power several applications. In addition to user-end devices and sensors, we will be focusing on enabling low-power access capabilities across connectivity applications like modems, cloud networking equipment, and more.
What kind of disruptive innovations can we expect from MediaTek in the coming year?
MediaTek has been constantly engaged in innovations across all segments. However, given the current trends around 5G, AIoT and WiFi 6, we await several innovations that can integrate the best of all these technologies onto a single chip. Since there is a constant need for innovation around power efficiency, performance, multimedia and other usability aspects, we will work towards enabling the OEMs to build devices of their choice.
The launch of MediaTek Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture for select chipsets is the first major step in that line. The open architecture enables OEMs to tweak the SoCs to integrate their own algorithms and optimisations at a deep level, thereby creating unique variants in response to the needs of the specific market segment. Going forward, we will expand this further to allow more room for innovation at the OEM level and pave way for the launch of a vast array of products.
This interview is published in the December 2021 issue of Disruptive Telecoms