MediaTek has finally unveiled the much anticipated Helio X30 processor at an official event. The flagship chipset packs in ARM’s latest Cortex A73 cores for outstanding performance. The Helio X30 is the first chip in the world to be the manufactured using the 10 nm node. The newest fabrication process will drastically minimize heating and provide ultimate power efficiency. The company also announced the Helio P25, a new midrange chipset.
The Helio X30 is a deca-core processor with tri-cluster big.LITTLE architecture. In the newly launched chip, there are two Cortex A73 cores, each of which can be clocked up to 2.8 GHz, four 2.3 GHz Cortex A53 cores and four 2.0 Cortex A35 cores. The chipset is manufactured by TSMC using the next generation 10 nm FinFET+ fabrication process.
Cortex A73 is ARM’s latest model of performance oriented processors. It is 30 percent more powerful than the previous Cortex A72 cores while boasting 30 percent better power efficiency. We all have seen the A53 processor in almost every last year’s MediaTek chips. It is decently powerful and consumes very little energy. The A35 is bit of a surprise here. It is ARM’s most power efficient core design and made mainly to be used in wearables like smartwatches, fitness bands, etc.
This is the first time; the Cortex A35 is included in any high-end smartphone processor. The A35 cores in the Helio X30 will mainly run when the smartphone is in sleep or battery saving mode. The extremely low power consumption of the A35 has played a significant role in the enhanced energy efficiency of MediaTek’s latest processor. This has resulted in real three-tier performance level in the brand new chipset.
In general terms, the Helio X30 is 53 percent more power efficient than the X20 in spite of bringing 43 percent performance gain. The new generation chipset supports up to 8 GB of LPDDR4x RAM at 1866 MHz frequency. This is a major improvement from its previous generation which only supported LPDDR3 RAM modules. For storage, the Helio X30 can take in memory chips up to eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1.
MediaTek has upgraded the ISP inside its brand new flagship with the latest Imagiq Gen 2.0 chip. The Helio X30 can shoot up to 28 MP 14-bit images at 30 fps. It can record and playback 4K x 2K videos at 30 frames per second. For recording it supports H.265 and VP9 formats, while it is capable of running 10-bit H.265, H.264 or VP9 footages. Unfortunately, there is no word on compatibility of the upcoming AV1 video format.
Speaking of the display support, the Helio X30 can power up 2560 x 1600 panels up to 60 Hz or 1080 x 1920 screens up to 120 Hz. The latest chipset boasts 2.4X audio performance with a new generation sound DSP. It supports up to 120 dB SNR and -100 dB THD sounds.
MediaTek has also upgraded the LTE modem, which now supports Cat-10 LTE speeds in contrast to the Cat-6 of the Helio X20.The X30 features an external connectivity module, unlike its predecessor, which now supports dual band 2 x 2 MIMO Wi-Fi besides the usual Bluetooth, FM, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and ANT+.
There is a significant change in the graphics department. MediaTek has switched from using Mali GPUs to opt for an Imagination Technology chip. The Helio X30 comes with a four core PowerVR 7XT Series GPU running at up 820 MHz clock speed. MediaTek has not yet revealed the exact model of the graphics chip. We are curious to see how the new generation GPU performs against the powerhouses like Adreno 530 or the 12-core Mali T880.
A new Helio P25 chipset also debuted beside the Helio X30 in the latest launch event. This is essentially an overclocked version of the P20. It will also be manufactured by TSMC using it’s 16 nm process. The chip will sport eight Cortex A53 cores clocked over 2.3 GHz each along with a dual-core Mali T880 running above 900 MHz.
The Helio X30 and P20 or P25 will be MediaTek bread and butter for the next year’s high-end and mid-range devices respectively.