With all the smartphone-based talk about the leading edge of the industry focusing on upcoming 10nm chips, it might be easy to forget that the majority of smartphones sold in 2017 will still be on 16nm or 28nm and are more likely to be A72/A53 based rather than A73 or custom cores. Earlier this year we have already seen the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 in India, with a surprising twist: Xiaomi downgraded the SoC in that phone (with lower peak performance) over the Note 3 due to the power saving advantages of using eight ARM Cortex A53 cores on 16nm in the Snapdragon 625 over using a 2+4 configuration of A72/A53 as seen in the Note 3 on 28m. At the time we postulated that this is going to be a trend through 2017: we’ll see mid-range smartphones go after power efficiency with smaller cores and smaller chips on more power efficient processes in exchange for performance.

Nonetheless, the power efficient chip does still need some performance, and Mediatek is announcing the P25 for this. The P25 features a significant step up from the P10, and speed boost to the P20. This allows the P25 to support dual cameras as well.

MediaTek 2017 H1 20-Series Lineup
SoC X20 X23 X25 X27   P20 P25
CPU 2xA72 2.10 GHz 2.30 GHz 2.50 GHz 2.70 GHz   - -
4xA53 1.85 GHz 1.85 GHz 2.00 GHz 2.00 GHz   2.3 GHz 2.6 GHz
4xA53 1.40 GHz 1.40 GHz 1.55 GHz 1.60 GHz   1.6 GHz 1.6 GHz
LPDDR3 1 x 800MHz   1 x 32-bit @ 933 MHz
LPDDR4X     2 x 16-bit @ 1600 MHz
@780 MHz
T880MP4 @850 MHz T880MP4 @875 MHz   T880MP2
Encode 2160p30 HEVC w/HDR   2160p30 H.264
Decode 2160p30 10-bit H.264/HEVC/VP9   2160p30 H.264 & HEVC
Single Dual 32MP ISP @ 24fps   24MP 24MP
Dual ?   - 2x13MP
Modem  LTE Cat. 6 300/50 with 2x20 CA
Mfc. Process 20SoC   16nm FinFET

The P20 was perhaps not as popular as Mediatek would have liked in 2016: it was in the Elephone P20 and the UMI Plus E, but that’s about it. By contrast, the P10 was popular. To entice handset developers to drop in a better chip to the updates for these devices in 2017, the P25 adds another 200 MHz into the cores over the P20, as well as increasing the internal Turbo Engine for a 30-35% performance boost. This allows the DSP to support dual cameras, up to 13MP+13MP, and puts it directly in line against devices such as the dual-camera based Honor 6X which uses the Kirin 655. The P25 also retains the support for dual channel LPDDR4X up to 6GB.

The rest of the P25 is similar to the older SoC: 4K30 decode for HEVC, 4K30 encode for H.264, integrated ARM Mali T880MP2 graphics, and a Cat 6 modem with support for 2x20 MHz carrier aggregation. Both SoCs support a screen resolution of Full HD at 60 FPS.

Given today’s announcement, it is highly likely that the P25 has been shipping to customers for long enough to perhaps see some design wins for Mobile World Congress, which starts at the end of February. There will be three of us at the show, so stay tuned for our coverage.


Source: Mediatek

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  • Quantumz0d - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link

    MediaTek is still stuck with the old Mali GPUs plus they don't care about GPLv2, Their CPUs are useless when It comes to long term aftermarket firmware mods and custom ROMs development.
  • philehidiot - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link

    Personally I'm not that fussed about gaming on a smartphone. I have tried portable consoles (PSP) and smartphone games but the only ones that gripped me were the "Gurk" series and that wasn't exactly a GPU hog. I can see the point in having a chip which doesn't have massive gaming potential and charging less for it as there's probably a much smaller market for mobile gaming than we really think. I'd be very interested to see the numbers but I bet the vast majority of people are only looking for multimedia and casual (read - tetris esque stuff) gaming. The point is proven by Sony producing that slide out phone with a game pad. I loved that idea (and bought the one with a slide out keyboard) but it never took off, even with Sony behind it.

    Personally, I'd rather pay 50 [insert currency here] less and have a mediocre GPU which can drive android well and a set of decent CPU cores. I do think the market would generally agree but I am perfectly willing to be corrected if anyone has evidence / experience to the contrary.
  • jimjamjamie - Thursday, February 9, 2017 - link

    From my experience you are correct for most mid-low end phones. 4/8 low-power cpu cores paired with the most basic GPU the soc vendor offers.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link

    Custom roms... I remember all of that years back with windows mobile:

    -A new custom cooked rom arrives
    -50 pages of people stating how 'epic' it is
    -10 pages describing issues
    -74 pages moaning for fixes or a new rom

    Repeat. Glad that's all over with.
  • philehidiot - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link

    Oh how I loved windows mobile. So laggy and bloated and poorly coded. Then a new skin came along and made it amazing to use. My TYTN II was just awesome with that and a huge battery.
  • Samus - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link

    How is Android any different? The last three Android phones I've had dating back to the Galaxy SII all needed AOSP or CyanogenMod to be remotely functional.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - link

    It sounds like you might just want to avoid Samsung, their ROMs are trash. There are plenty of other hardware options with varying levels of competency in putting together stock roms.
  • Mavendependency - Thursday, February 9, 2017 - link

    Not everyone wants to buy an altar to worship glorious leader Google. Samsung firmware is fine.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, February 9, 2017 - link

    Sounds like somebody hit a nerve.

    Samsung firmware is demonstrably worse then other ROMs. It lags on hardware more powerful then nexus phones. It gets worse battery life then custom ROMs thrown together by one or two people. Touchwiz, in my opinion, is butt ugly.

    The moto z, with a SD625, fells smoother and more responsive then a S7 with a SD820. And buying that isnt " buying an altar to worship glorious leader Google". It is just using the stock, clean, efficient interface that google uses in stock android.

    Further evidence, HTC's skin is much lighter weight and doesnt lag anywhere near the level of touchwiz. Heck, Samsung ended up needing google's help to make touchwiz not suck harder than a kirby vaccum cleaner.
  • philehidiot - Thursday, February 9, 2017 - link

    Interestingly I've been pretty happy with my last 3 android phones. All HTC.

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