MediaTek added two additional products to its premiere deca-core SoC family today. The Helio X23 and X27 join the previously released Helio X20 and X25, adding additional performance levels for OEMs to choose from.
All four SoCs use the same deca-core CPU configuration—two ARM Cortex-A72 cores for heavy workloads that require higher performance and two quad-core Cortex-A53 clusters, using different DVFS curves, for medium to light workloads where lower-power operation is desirable. MediaTek’s custom-developed, power-aware scheduler, CorePilot 3.0, still handles thread distribution. The differentiating factor is clock frequency, with peak frequencies increasing from 2.1GHz / 1.85GHz / 1.4GHz (A72 / A53 / A53) for the X20 to 2.6GHz / 2.0GHz / 1.6GHz for the new X27. The ARM Mali-T880MP4 GPU runs at up to 780MHz in the X20 and X23 and up to 850MHz in the X25. The new X27 bumps the GPU frequency even higher to 875MHz, just shy of the 900MHz peak frequency used by HiSilicon’s Kirin 950/955 that also uses a Mali-T880MP4 GPU.
Both the Helio X23 and X27 are manufactured on the same TSMC 20nm process as the X20 and X25. MediaTek has not made any implementation changes to the layout or cell libraries to push the X27 to higher frequencies, which makes the fact that its A72 cores can hit 2.6GHz on a 20nm planar process even more interesting considering ARM only targets frequencies this high on 14nm/16nm FinFET processes.
Other blocks within the X23 and X27, including MediaTek’s Imagiq ISP and integrated Category 6 modem, remain unchanged. The ISP still includes support for dual camera sensors, including color + monochrome configurations that can capture more light than a single color sensor, potentially improving low-light photography. There’s also a 3D depth engine built in to enable depth-of-field post-processing effects.
One new feature added to the X23 and X27 is EnergySmart Screen power-saving technology. Part of MediaTek’s MiraVision display suite, it modifies various display parameters in response to changes in ambient lighting and screen content to reduce display power consumption by up to 25%.
Products using the new Helio X23 and X27 SoCs have yet to be announced, but MediaTek says smartphones using the new chips will be available soon.