MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest supplier of chips used in smartphones, plans to launch its new flagship 5G chip by February in a bid to capture a bigger share of the rapidly growing market, a company executive said yesterday.
The announcement indicates that the Hsinchu-based chipmaker is gaining confidence about the rollout of its new 5G chip designed for premium smartphones. The chipmaker two months ago gave a more vague schedule, saying that new phones powered by its new Dimensity 5G chip would enter mass production early next year.
The remarks came after the company’s bigger rival Qualcomm Inc last week unveiled its new flagship 5G chip, the Snapdragon 888, for premium smartphones.
Photo: Vanessa Cho, Taipei Times
MediaTek said that its chip would be launched by the Lunar New Year, which falls in February, and that it expects replacement demand to take off next year as shipments of 5G handsets worldwide are set to double from more than 200 million units this year.
The growth momentum is set to carry into 2023, with the 5G penetration rate expected to climb to about 60 percent from 49 percent in 2022, MediaTek chief executive Rick Tsai (蔡力行) said in a speech entitled “Accelerating the Digital Economy post the COVID-19 pandemic” at the IEEE Global Communications Conference in Taipei yesterday.
The 5G smartphone penetration rate is expected to reach 18 percent this year, beating MediaTek’s expectations, Tsai said.
The company’s strategy is to build a comprehensive product portfolio for smartphones with different price points, he said, adding that the chipmaker plans to roll out a new 5G system-on-a-chip for entry-level smartphones.
The company’s high-end Dimensity 1000 chip has been adopted by LG Electronics Inc for its new 5G smartphone for US consumers, while Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp (歐珀) launched its Reno 4Z smartphone using the Dimensity 800 in Europe this quarter.
Thanks to its higher bandwidth and low latency, 5G technology is being adopted in applications beyond smartphones, including routers, connected devices, automotive wireless communications and industrial Internet-of-Things applications, Tsai said.
Working from home, remote study and the stay-at-home economy has become the new norm due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding that the trend is set to stay even after the pandemic subsides.
MediaTek has introduced multiple chips to address those demands, he added.
The company in the third quarter posted a more than 40 percent growth in revenue across the board, including chips used in Chromebooks.
Pandemic-induced lockdowns and constraints on movement are boosting the digital economy, Tsai said.
Mobile network traffic is set to grow at an annual compound rate of 26 percent through 2022 from 2018, mostly driven by the streaming of videos, he said.
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