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MediaTek Helio P60 SoC With Dedicated AI Unit Launched for Mid-Range Smartphones at MWC 2018

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MediaTek at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 on Monday launched the Helio P60 system-on-chip (SoC) as its new processor for mid-range smartphones. Built using new 12nm FinFET technology, the new processor includes a multi-core AI processing unit (mobile APU) and supports NeuroPilot AI technology alongside ARM Cortex-A73 and Cortex-A53 processing units. Smartphones with the Helio P60 SoC are expected to be available commercially beginning the second quarter this year.

As a successor to the Helio P23 and Helio P30, the MediaTek Helio P60 SoC is touted to deliver up to 70 percent of CPU performance boost over its predecessors. It is also claimed to be 12 percent more power efficient overall and up to 25 percent more power efficient in highly demanding games compared to the Helio P23. The SoC has four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and four ARM Cortex-53 cores – both clocked at 2GHz speed and are available in an octa-core big.LITTLE configuration. Further, it is fabricated on the TSMC 12nm production process.

MediaTek claims the Helio P60 SoC offers a number of benefits that provide a smarter and faster experience on future mid-range smartphones over what they could get from a previous Helio P series chip. There is NeuroPilot AI technology that has leverages an AI-compute architecture to give sufficient power to support AI developments, such as facial recognition and object recognition. Plus, the SoC includes NeuroPilot SDK that is compatible with Google Android Neural Networks API (Android NNAPI) and supports AI frameworks, including TensorFlow, Caffe, and Caffe 2. MediaTek is additionally in plans to bring Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) support to the new SoC. All this is aimed to help developers build new AI experiences for hardware featuring the Helio P60.

Alongside AI-focused tweaks, the Helio P60 includes three image signal processors (ISPs) to increase power efficiency for multiple camera setups. The SoC is acclaimed to use 18 percent less power for dual camera setups compared to the previous Helio P series models. Similarly, there are advancements specific to enable features such as real-time beautification, novel, real-time overlays, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) acceleration, real-time video previews, and various photography-centric enhancements. The SoC supports dual rear camera setups with primary image sensors of up to 20-megapixel resolution alongside a 16-megapixel secondary sensor or a single sensor of up to 32-megapixel resolution. There are also developments such as CorePilot 4.0 along with thermal management, user experience monitoring, and Energy Aware Scheduling (EAS) to help enhance the battery life of next-generation mid-range smartphones.

Moreover, MediaTek has added a 4G LTE WorldMode modem, dual 4G VoLTE, and TAS 2.0 smart antenna technology to the Helio P60 to offer global connectivity. There is also support for Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and FM radio.

“Packing big core power and performance with a processing unit purpose-built for AI applications, the MediaTek Helio P60 chipset brings consumers flagship features like deep-learning facial detection, object and scene identification, fluid gaming experiences, and smarter camera functions. This new chipset gives everyone access to incredible devices without the premium price tag,” said TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit, in a press statement.

The Helio P60 will compete with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 that was debuted in May last year. The Snapdragon SoC includes an octa-core Kryo 260 CPU and Adreno 512 GPU.