MediaTek and TSMC Present the “World’s First 7nm 8K Resolution Digital TV SoC”
As the need for better multimedia devices continues to grow at an alarming rate, MediaTek, using TSMC's 7nm technology, is paving the way towards 8K resolution technology with its Pentonic 2000 SoC.
Of all the advancing technology in today’s world, the one that the typical consumer may recognize the most is the improvement in multimedia. From faster streaming services to higher resolution displays and televisions, the improvements in multimedia technology impact our lives daily.
A brief comparison of screen resolutions. Image used courtesy of Video Solo
Underneath these advances are improvements in display technology and in the silicon that supports high-resolution streaming. One company that has worked towards improving media devices is MediaTek, a Taiwanese semiconductor company that focuses on multimedia like smartphones, televisions, and tablets.
Last week, MediaTek announced that, in collaboration with TSMC, they released the industry’s first 7 nm 8K TV system-on-chip (SoC).
Specialized Blocks For A New SoC
To improve multimedia and streaming, MediaTek recently released their newest SoC: the MediaTek Pentonic 2000.
The Pentonic 2000 is the company’s most advanced multimedia SoC offering, and as such, is aimed explicitly at flagship 8K TVs.
To cater to these top-of-the-line products, the SoC integrates a wealth of specialized hardware blocks, each working to allow for a better user experience in some capacity.
The Pentonic 2000 is aimed at flagship 8K TVs. Image used courtesy of MediaTek
One of these specialized hardware blocks is an AI-specific hardware block powered by MediaTek’s AI Processing Unit (APU).
In terms of media quality, the integrated APU allows the Pentonic 2000 to perform intelligent tasks such as:
- Scene recognition
- Object recognition
- MediaTek’s 8K Super Resolution
The 8K Super Resolution claims to intelligently improve lower-resolution image quality while enhancing image quality in real-time.
According to Mediatek, the integration of the APU on-chip also affords the Pentonic 2000 faster and more power-efficient computing than previous generations.
Beyond the AI block, the Pentonic 2000 includes a Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation (MEMC) block, “the most powerful CPU and GPU combination in the TV industry,” and UFS3.1 storage blocks. However, the specific details and performance specs of the CPU and GPU are not currently available.
Pentonic 2000’s Performance
High levels of integration have allowed MediaTek to make the Pentonic 2000 a unique player in the industry.
Amongst other feats, MediaTek claims that the new Pentonic 2000 is not only the first commercial 8K TV chip that supports Versatile Video Coding (VVC H.266) but is also the first fully-integrated SoC to support 8K at a 120 Hz refresh rate.
Largely, MediaTek attributes the high integration and the subsequent high performance to TSMC’s advanced 7 nm technology node.
TSMC’s 7 nm technology allows for improved speed and power as compared to previous processes. Image used courtesy of David Schor
According to TSMC, compared to its 16 nm process technology, its 7 nm technology provides a 3x increase in logic density, a 30% improvement in speed, and a 55% improvement in power efficiency.
MediaTek claims to have reaped all of these benefits with the Pentonic 2000, citing the move to 7 nm as a major reason it could have such high levels of integration and performance without reaching thermal design limitations.
As multimedia technology continues to permeate our daily lives, improvements in the underlying hardware are invaluable.
With the Pentonic 2000, MediaTek and TSMC have seemingly brought a valuable piece of silicon to the market, hopefully boosting 8K TVs into a mainstream price point and adoption.