MediaTek Launches “True” Octa-Core Mobile Application Processor

MediaTek Packs Eight ARM Cortex-A7 Cores into MT6592 Application Processor

by Anton Shilov
11/19/2013 | 11:15 PM

MediaTek, a leading designer of application processors, has introduced the world’s first homogeneous eight-core system-on-chip based on ARM architecture. The developer claims that its eight-core SoC is extremely power-efficient, yet it provides excellent performance in multi-threaded applications. Unfortunately, MediaTek’s MT6592 will hardly offer excellent performance in demanding single-thread apps.


"We are thrilled to offer the new MT6592 to our customers as part of our ongoing commitment to providing inclusive mobile technology. The MT6592 delivers longer battery life, low-latency response times and the best possible mobile multimedia experience. Being the first to market with this advanced eight-core SOC is testament to the industry-leading position of MediaTek,” said Jeffrey Ju, general manager of smartphone business unit at MediaTek.

One of today’s technology most significant challenges is how to create a system-on-chip (SoC) that meets the conflicting consumer demand for devices with both higher-performance and extended battery life. ARM’s Big.Little processing approach achieves this by pairing the high-performance ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore and ultra-efficient ARM Cortex-A7 processors. Big.Little processing combines two different, but compatible processors within the same SoC and allows the power management software to seamlessly select the right processor, or multiple processors, for the right task. The efficient and seamless switching of workloads between the two processors is supported by advanced ARM system IP, such as AMBA 4 ACE coherency extensions, which ensures full cache, I/O and processor-to-processor coherency between the Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7, and across the complete system. Software and applications can therefore continue to run unhindered, and unnoticed by the user, as the tasks are rebalanced to provide the optimum Big.Little user experience.

All of the existing eight-core system-on-chips – such as Samsung Exynos Octa – are heterogeneous SoC with four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 cores, thus, providing a balance between performance and power consumption. MediaTek’s MT6592 does not utilize the Big.Little concept and therefore represents a traditional homogeneous multi-core processor with eight ARM Cortex-A7 cores capable of running at up to 2GHz clock-rate. The new chip will not offer extreme performance in applications that rely on one – four threads, but will generally provide low-power consumption during multi-tasking and in multi-threaded applications. MediaTek calls its MT6592 the world’s first “true” octa-core mobile app processor because currently this is the only eight-core SoC with eight similar cores. The chip is made using 28HPM process technology.

The MT6592 features a world-class multimedia subsystem with a quad-core graphics engine, an advanced video playback system supporting ultra-HD 4K H.264 video playback and support for new video codecs such as H.265 and VP9, a 16MP camera and a full HD display. The SoC also features MediaTek ClearMotion technology for automatic frame-rate conversion of standard 24/30fps video to high-quality 60fps video for significantly smoother playback. An advanced MediaTek scheduling algorithm also monitors temperature and power consumption to ensure optimum performance at all times. The MT6592 incorporates the MediaTek advanced multi-mode cellular modem and a full connectivity capability for dual-band 801.11n Wi-Fi, Miracast screen-sharing as well as Bluetooth, GPS and an FM tuner.

“MediaTek has taken a pioneering position with the MT6592 by being the first to use the power-efficient ARM Cortex-A7 processor in an octa-core configuration with the ARM Mali™ GPU. We are delighted that our partnership with MediaTek continues to deliver new and innovative mobile consumer products, extending our low-power and high-performance leadership in mobile devices,” said Noel Hurley, vice president of strategy and marketing of processor division at ARM.