Vision for the 5G Future: Q&A with MediaTek’s TL Lee

Following the launch of our new 7nm 5G SoC, we sat down with MediaTek’s TL Lee, General Manager of the Wireless Business Group to hear his thoughts on MediaTek’s 5G strategy, portfolio and what 5G means for the industry.

5G Future

What is MediaTek’s overall strategy for 5G?
MediaTek’s technology is changing the way people interact with their devices and the world around them, enhancing and enriching their lives. 5G will open up entirely new platforms of innovation and create a historic opportunity to make the connected world smarter, safer and more equitable. MediaTek is committed to making high speed connectivity truly accessible as we help connect the next billions of people and devices.

MediaTek has played an active role in the standardization of the 5G feature set through the 3GPP standards body and has heavily invested in 5G technology development for our expansive ecosystem of partners. To accelerate the global rollout of 5G, we developed a groundbreaking, premium smartphone SoC for the first wave of 5G devices. We designed the chipset for 5G stand alone and non-stand alone (SA/NSA) sub-6GHz networks to bring 5G connectivity to the largest markets, including both dense urban environments and rural areas. The chipset will also support 2G to 4G to bridge existing network access while 5G networks roll out globally.

How does MediaTek’s 5G SoC compare to other 5G chipsets or two chip solutions?
MediaTek’s best-in-class solution – the 5G SoC with the Helio M70 5G modem built in – offers a number of advantages over two chip solutions. The 5G SoC is compact so device makers can bring to market elegant, slim 5G smartphone designs. Additionally, the integrated solution offers a better balance of performance and power efficiency. To learn more about the incredible technology inside the chip, check out our infographic here.

The 5G SoC also packs the latest AI, CPU and GPU technology, making the chipset the most powerful 5G SoC announced to date so consumers can take full advantage of everything 5G has to offer. The 7nm SoC features Arm’s latest Cortex A-77 CPU for big performance, Arm’s Mali-G77 GPU hardware for extreme streaming and gaming experiences at 5G speeds, and MediaTek’s all new AI processing unit 3.0 (APU 3.0) for advanced AI applications, including imaging.

How was the chipset designed for the needs of 5G?
5G is a pivotal step forward for carriers, device makers and consumers everywhere – its deployment will change everything. For MediaTek it’s a technology leap that truly blends smart (AI) and fast (5G). Our 5G SoC will power the first wave of 5G devices, enabling consumers to seamlessly connect to the cloud, game faster and enjoy new immersive experiences powered by AI. With its revolutionary growth in bandwidth, better use of wireless spectrum, and improved connection reliability, 5G will also drive a new wave of innovation, particularly the design of more powerful AI applications.

Built on the cutting-edge 7nm production process, the chipset offers big energy savings in a compact package so consumers can enjoy a powerful experience for longer. MediaTek’s APU 3.0 lets users enjoy more advanced AI applications, including an array of imaging options like being able to get great shots even when subjects are moving fast. The chipset provides a speedy throughput with 4.7Gps download speeds and lightning-fast connectivity.

When will we see smartphones powered by MediaTek’s 5G SoC?

Our customers, which include the world’s largest smartphone brands, have already shown significant interest in MediaTek’s 5G SoC as they look to bring to market the first wave of 5G devices. The chipset will be ready for customer sampling in Q3 of 2019 and will be in commercial devices by Q1 of 2020.

MediaTek previously announced the Helio M70 5G modem – what’s unique about that?

Our 5G chipset is integrated with the Helio M70 5G, offering ultra-fast 5G in a power-efficient package. The Helio M70 5G is the only 5G modem with LTE and 5G dual connectivity plus multi‑mode support for every wireless network from 2G to 5G. With support for sub‑6GHz our Helio M70 is the ideal solution to bring everyone more reliable and faster broadband.

What kind of impact will 5G have on our society?
The jump from 4G to 5G is like the transition from horse and buggy to the automobile. The car changed markets and industries and how we live forever. 5G has the same potential. We’ll see devices being built differently for 5G, more automated applications and more devices being controlled remotely. 5G opens up new platforms of innovation for anything that can be connected: including smartphones, IoT devices, appliances, autonomous cars, factories and so much more. The lightning fast connection with 5G will enable devices to more fully integrate AI and human intelligence, bringing us even smarter experiences everywhere from your home to your workplace to the road and beyond. 5G will also power more advanced voice-based computing, making it even easier for us to connect with machines and for machines to recognize and respond to situations around them. And the most exciting part is that 5G will democratize access to high speed broadband for consumers around the globe.

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