MediaTek Ventures Further to High-end Chip Market With Dimensity 7200
MediaTek is upping the competition in the high-end smartphone market with the release of a new mobile processor.
Despite the size and breadth of the smartphone industry, it sometimes feels like the market is dominated by only a handful of players. While Apple doesn’t sell its hardware to designers, Qualcomm and MediaTek are considered two of the largest market players that do.
Although both companies have competed in the marketplace, they have historically stuck to different market segments with minimal overlap. Now, MediaTek is changing this narrative with the announcement of yet another high-end smartphone chipset, which follows its successful Dimensity 9000+ series for smartphones.
MediaTek's new Dimensity 7200 smartphone chip for photography and gaming. Image (modified) courtesy of MediaTek
In this article, we’ll look at MediaTek’s new Dimensity 7200 and how this chipset may affect MediaTek's standing against Qualcomm, one of the world's top smartphone chipmakers.
Qualcomm and MediaTek Target Different Smartphone Tiers
Qualcomm and MediaTek are two of the largest players in the global smartphone processor market. However, while both companies are based in Asia and share some similarities in terms of product offerings, several key differences set them apart.
One of the main differences between Qualcomm and MediaTek is their target markets. Qualcomm is generally known for its high-end processors that power flagship smartphones from brands like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus. These chips are designed to deliver maximum performance and support advanced features like 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and mobile gaming. Given its target audience, Qualcomm tends to optimize for performance over cost, leading to more expensive chipsets.
2022 smartphone market share by revenue. Image courtesy of Counterpoint Research
In contrast, MediaTek focuses on mid-range and budget smartphones, which typically cost less than $300. MediaTek's chips are designed to balance performance and affordability, providing a cost-effective solution for manufacturers looking to offer competitive devices without breaking the bank.
In terms of market share, Qualcomm currently dominates the high-end smartphone segment, with an estimated 40–75% share of the global market. MediaTek, on the other hand, has a larger share of the mid-range and budget smartphone markets, competing with companies like Samsung's Exynos and Huawei's Kirin chips. Today, it is estimated that MediaTek owns roughly 22% of the total global smartphone market by revenue.
MediaTek Ups Its Smartphone Game With Dimensity 7200
Now, MediaTek is upping the competition in the high-end smartphone segment by announcing a new chipset.
The 4nm chipset, called the Dimensity 7200, is the inaugural chipset in the Dimensity 7000 series and brings with it several interesting features. From a compute perspective, the chipset is based around an octa-core CPU computing cluster featuring two 2.8 GHz Arm Cortex-A715 cores alongside six Cortex-A510 cores. Additionally, the chip features an Arm Mali-G610 MC4 GPU for media and graphics processing applications. With a focus on artificial intelligence, MediaTek integrated a MediaTek APU 650 artificial intelligence accelerator to maximize the efficiency of AI tasks and fusion processing.
Block diagram of the Dimensity 7200. Image courtesy of MediaTek
For imaging, the chipset features MediaTek’s Imagiq 765 and a 14-bit HDR-ISP (image signal processor). Because of these hardware blocks, smartphones equipped with the Dimensity 7200 can support 200 MP main cameras as well as 4K HDR video.
Finally, for connectivity, the Dimensity 7200 integrates a 3GPP R16 5G modem, which supports 5G with up to 4.7 Gbps downlink speeds. Besides cellular, the chip incorporates hardware to support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
Competition for Qualcomm?
Compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon portfolio, MediaTek's Dimensity 7200 most closely resembles the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 series.
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 has similar clock speeds (up to 2.4 GHz), GPU configurations, and wireless connectivity options as the Dimensity 7200. Qualcomm, however, is already developing Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. So, while MediaTek is certainly broadening its Dimensity offerings and approaching Qualcomm’s higher-end offerings, it is not quite toe-to-toe with Qualcomm at the companies’ highest offerings.
Nonetheless, the Dimensity 7200 is a promising chip that shows MediaTek’s potential to expand its reach and start to compete at the higher ends of the smartphone market.