When MediaTek announced that it would be producing true eight-core mobile processors later this year, we knew it was only a matter of time before its main rival Qualcomm chimed in. As illustrated by a set of guitar amplifiers, the San Diego gang explains that while they rebuild their CPU cores for each generation (the latest architectures being Krait 300 and Krait 400), they claim that “Our Competitor” — which is labeled with the same font and colors as MediaTek’s logo — simply “chooses to duplicate the same old cores” based on ARM’s slower Cortex-A7 architecture. That said, it’s worth a reminder that Qualcomm’s cheaper Snapdragon 400 range also uses Cortex-A7.
Later on in the video, Qualcomm uses a Guitar Hero-like visualization to compare the performance difference, as well as show how octa-core is overrated for most apps. Apparently only 17 out of the top 20 Android apps in China use two cores at most, hence the bare fretboard for the octa-core side. The Snapdragon side, meanwhile, combs through a denser bunch of apps at a higher speed. Of course, there’s bound to be some bias here, so only time will tell how close to reality this argument is. Until then, enjoy the cheeky clip after the break.
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Qualcomm, the biggest mobile chip maker, might soon lose its leading position as an emerging competitor from Taiwanese MediaTek is likely to outgrow it very soon. MediaTek already holds a share of more than 50% in low-end and mid-end devices, and with the upcoming launch of its octa-core chip with built-in 4G LTE support, it is likely to beat Qualcomm in shipment volumes in the high-end market as well.
The MT6592 is the much anticipated octa-core chip by MediaTek that scores almost as much as the Snapdragon 800 on synthetic benchmarks, but at a lower price making it very luring for manufacturers.
This however does not mean that you know much about MediaTek. The average user in the United States and Europe might have heard about Snapdragon but there’s little chance the same user knows about MediaTek. The reason lies in the fact that most of the smartphones with its chips are sold in China and other developing markets.
MediaTek is a fabless chip maker based in Taiwan with a quarterly revenue of around a billion dollars. While it is likely to soon beat Qualcomm in terms of shipments volumes, it still has six times less than Qualcomm’s revenue.