Mediatek has been a flagship player for several years with its Dimension 1000 Series and Dimension 1200 delivers a lot of grunts. But to be honest, these chips still generally played second fiddle behind the Snapdragon 800 series, with device manufacturers choosing the Snapdragon 865 series and the Snapdragon 888 family for their premium phones.

However, the Taiwanese chip designer has just launched the Dimensity 9000 processor and is targeting Qualcomm’s top tier processors with this new chipset.

“We’re deliberately moving at flagship levels, and I think that’s probably an area people haven’t associated Mediatek with in the past,” said Finbarr Moynihan, vice president and general manager of marketing for Mediatek, in an interview with Android authority.

“To be fair, I think Mediatek has never really played in the true flagship class of smartphones. Some of our competitors have had this playground to themselves for far too long. “

Moynihan added that this is not a “one-time” strategy and requires a “sustainable, multi-year investment” from Mediatek. What does this new processor look like then?

Dimension 9000: the meat and the potatoes

For starters, this is the first smartphone chipset to be based on TSMC’s 4nm class process, which is essentially an upgraded version of the 5nm process. So this should immediately allow for some efficiency and performance improvements.

This is also the first Mediatek processor to feature the latest in a Cortex-X series CPU core ArmV9 CPU cores. You get an octa-core CPU arrangement consisting of a Cortex-X2 CPU with 3.05 GHz, three Cortex-A710 CPUs with 2.85 GHz and four power-guzzling Cortex-A510 cores with 1.8 GHz .

The company is fairly optimistic about the capabilities of the Cortex-X2, claiming a 35% increase in performance and a 37% increase in efficiency over the Cortex-X1 on a 5nm process. Of course, the actual test will be conducted against other 4nm class products, but it’s clear that this CPU setup should be in the same stadium as the next few processors from Samsung and Qualcomm.

Mediatek also emphasized that its new processor offers 8MB L3 cache and 6MB system-level cache (SLC). In comparison, the Snapdragon 888 offers 4 MB L3 cache and 3 MB SLC.

The Dimensity 9000 looks like a big boost to Mediatek, but we’ll have to wait for the competing chips to hit the market to get a better idea.

The Mediatek Dimensity 9000 also uses a Mali-G710 MC10 GPU – right in Arm’s performance sweet spot for its new graphics core. This is the newest GPU in Arm’s portfolio, and the chip designer claims its implementation will result in a 35% increase in performance and a 60% increase in efficiency over the Snapdragon 888. Again, part of the 4nm class is compared to a 5nm chipset, but that’s a big win if confirmed, although the real point of comparison will be with Qualcomm’s next processor.

It’s also worth noting that the company’s Arm GPU implementation has lagged behind Samsung and Huawei in the past. For example, the upper mid-range Exynos 2100, Kirin 9000, and Exynos 1080 all used a newer GPU than the Dimensity 1200 and more shader cores. Add to this other factors like GPU clock speed, and it becomes a case of diminishing returns at some point as you add more cores to the mix. However, we are very keen to see real-world results for the GPU to see if this implementation is up to date.

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000 MediaTek Dimension 1200
Central processor

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

1x Cortex-X2 @ 3.05 GHz
3x Cortex-A710 @ 2.85 GHz
4x Cortex-A510 @ 1.8 GHz

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

1x Cortex-A78 @ 3GHz
3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.6 GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 2GHz

GPU

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

Arm Mali-G710 MC10

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

Arm Mali-G77 MP9

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Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

180Hz with FHD +

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

168 Hz with FHD +
90Hz with QHD +

Machine learning

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

APU 5.0
six cores

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

APU 3.0
six cores

modem

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

Helio M80 architecture
Sub-6GHz

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

Helio M70 5G
Sub-6GHz

camera

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

320 MP individually
32MP + 32MP + 32MP triple
8K / 24fps recording

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

200MP individually
32MP + 16MP dual
4K / 60fps recording

procedure

Mediatek-Dimensity 9000:

4nm

MediaTek Dimension 1200:

6nm

True to the previous generation’s Dimensity 1200, Mediatek says that the Dimensity 9000 also offers software-based ray tracing. However, the company also says it has been working on implementing ray tracing via Vulkan for Android on the new processor.

“So we don’t think it’s going to be mainstream this year or next, especially in mobile gaming,” said Moynihan. “But it’s important that we work with the ecosystem to start development because it’s an important technology. And I think future generations of graphics cores will add more hardware support. “

In any case, the new Dimensity processor also has a fifth generation APU for machine learning tasks. This upgraded silicon piece is a hexa-core design with four power cores and two efficiency cores for less strenuous tasks. Mediatek expects a performance increase of 400% and an efficiency increase of 400% compared to the APU of the third generation of the Dimensity 1200.

Multimedia support is getting a boost

The Dimensity 9000 doesn’t play around in the multimedia sector either, starting with the camera capabilities. The Imagiq 790 image signal processor offers a speed of nine gigapixels per second (double that of the previous generation) and this seems to be being put to good use.

For starters, the new processor now supports a maximum single camera resolution of up to 320 MP as well as hardware support for a 32 MP + 32 MP + 32 MP camera setup.

A flagship feature that was missing from Mediatek’s top-end range was 8K recording, but the new chipset now supports 8K / 24fps video recording as well. It also supports three simultaneous 4K HDR recording streams and 4K video HDR with three exposures. Otherwise you still get AV1 Decoding here (but no AV1 coding yet).

Connectivity and more

A smartphone chipset means nothing without connectivity, but the Dimensity 9000 comes with a 5G modem based on its M80 architecture. This offers 3GPP Release 16 functions, 3CC carrier aggregation (supports downlink speeds of up to 7 Gbit / s) and the company’s own PowerSave technology for improved battery life.

Unfortunately, although it is company based first mmWave modem, the Dimensity 9000 modem currently only supports 5G connectivity below 6 GHz. However, the company admitted that we would see more in terms of mmWave devices and launches in 2022.

Other notable features include Bluetooth 5.3 support, Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, full GNSS navigation, and LPDDR5X RAM support at 7,500 Mbps.

Mediatek Dimensity 9000: hot or not?

130 votes

Mediatek has also confirmed to us that the chipset is its Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture (DORA) to allow device manufacturers closer software access to the processor. This initiative also allows device manufacturers to brand these streamlined processors like OnePluss Dimensity 1200-AI and Vivos Dimensity 1200-Vivo. So we will probably use similar branding for the Dimensity 9000.

The company confirmed that it is already testing the SoC on customers, but when will we see actual devices?

“I think realistically we will probably see the end of Q1, Q2 next year,” Moynihan said of the initial device launches, hinting that we might see releases after the Chinese New Year (February 1, 2022).

What do you think of the Dimensity 9000? Let us know by completing the survey near the top of the page.

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