MediaTek not quite long ago made their next-gen flagship deca-core SoC, the Helio X20 official and according to some sources that showcased the leaked launch roadmap, it is headed for a March release. But as it turned out, it was not able to flee from the overheating problems like Snapdragon 810 had. This led to smartphone OEMs including Lenovo, Xiaomi and HTC to reportedly drop the X20 for their upcoming releases to maintain the image they’ve been building for the past year.
Earlier reports also said that MediaTek was initially experiencing troubles with SoC’s Wi-Fi capabilities which were dropping at random intervals. When this was fixed, the chip faced serious overheating issues. The Taiwan-based company was bound to officially comment on this and they did by illustrating how the X20 works in order to avoid those heating issues.
The Weibo post that MediaTek made declines all the accusations and claims that the company didn’t face any such problems whatsoever. The post also elaborates on the chip’s mechanism saying that it will transit to just 8 cores if the temperature crosses the ideal level. After that, the chip will basically utilize eight Cortex-A53 cores as it ceases the powerful two Cortex-A72 cores.
They also commented on how the Cortex-A72 cores despite being so high-powered are quite energy efficient pointing to a better battery life on longer runs which can’t be however trusted as of now. MediaTek also proudly told us that the mass production for the final release has begun. However, the one thing missing from the post was the lack of attention to OEMs stepping back from using this in their products which is quite questioning. Though it was just a rumor, so nothing can be completely believed.
The Helio X20 is the world’s first deca-core processor with a tri-cluster design. It runs on two Cortex-A72 cores, eight less-powerful Cortex-A53 cores half of which are clocked at 2.0GHz while the other half at 1.4GHz, and a Mali-T8XX generation GPU.
The Cortex-A72 is supposed to more power efficient than the Cortex-A57 and based on that, shouldn’t really encounter heating issues but there could be some hardware fault that may lead to such problems. If the 20nm manufacturing process is considered, A72 should be at least 20% more coherent when compared to the A57 and as these cores are projected for 16nm spaces, so power saving paradigms shouldn’t be a worry.
Clocked at a peak of 2.5Ghz, this won’t be easy to pull off on smartphones and given the company’s past records, everyone has rights to believe those rumors. Disabling cores to maintain the balance is something that a lot of processors opt for as far as the smartphone industry is concerned but it’s a bit more puzzled on the X20 as turning off the most powerful rig when the smartphone is demanding more power will eventually lead to performance issues.
Right now though, we have nothing on how often these cores will need to shut down in order to keep things running leaving phone manufacturers in an uncertain position and if MediaTek keeps them in dark for long, I’m sure there are plenty other options to choose from.
The Helio X20 will face stiff competition from the already launched Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 that is already being used in smartphones and the Exynos 8890. Although on paper and benchmarks, MediaTek is way ahead of them but unfortunately not everyone is looking for so much energy on their phones, at the end, power efficiency is what majority of the users will desire. Few of the past rumors also stated the fact that Xiaomi will be debuting the X20 on the Mi5 but now they’re opting for the 820. Nothing is ever certain with these rumors, we’ll just have to wait for the official launch.