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MediaTek to Launch First 10-core Chip Set

The battle to provide the fastest devices in the smartphone market has stepped up with the launch of the first 10-core chip set, promising more processing power for the world’s leading device makers.

MediaTek, the Taiwanese technology group, on Tuesday launched the first mobile processor with 10 cores, a step up from the eight normally found in high-end smartphones.

More processing cores enable better service for game playing, video, high-definition imagery, tasks that are increasingly being performed on mobile devices that require high-performance imaging and video recording. Spreading power across more cores also helps extend the battery life of a device.

MediaTek said this would lessen delays in switching between apps, smoother gaming and faster rendering of web pages. Jeffrey Ju, senior vice-president of MediaTek, compared it with adding an extra gear in a car. “This is equivalent of a two-gear car becoming a three-gear car,” he said. “It allows the smartphone to work much more efficiently.”

MediaTek estimated that power consumption would reduce a third on average, which means that battery size could be smaller or the charging intervals longer. The chip set will be available to smartphone makers to produce devices by the first quarter of next year.

Rivals in the smartphone market such as Qualcomm are also reported to be making similar 10-core chipsets for launch this year. Technology groups have been working on packing extra power into their chips without adding to the risk of overheating. MediaTek said that the 10-cores will be organised into three clusters to make processing more efficient. Each of the three clusters of processors tackles different tasks.

Siegmund Redl, general manager for MediaTek in Europe, said: “Ten cores in three — instead of two — clusters will give computing performance that can be applied to running processes more granularly. We are now able to apply the industry’s top performance for high-load tasks.”