Renowned Taiwanese chip manufacturer MediaTek Inc on Tuesday released a new 5G focused modem, which marks a very significant moment for the chipmaker since this is the first modem from the company to come with support for mmWave based 5G, something that its main competitor, Qualcomm already achieved.
For those of you in the dark, alongside Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd., Mediatek Inc is one of the handful suppliers of modem chips that aid devices such as smartphones to connect to cellular data networks. The company's key customers include LG Electronics Ltd, Xiaomi Corp and more. With today's launch, the company expects to see some growth in terms of sales, as it will finally be able to cater to customers in search of mmWave 5G based modems.
Till today, however, MediaTek's 5G chips had been compatible with the "sub-6" variant of 5G, which is the variety being widely used in countries such as China. The sub-6 waves can give good speeds but, for the massive difference in terms of generation to generation, mmWave leads the charge.
Mediatek M80 5G Modem Specifications
Like the M80's predecessor, the Helio M70, the M80 is an integrated modem, meaning that it will exist side-by-side alongside other components like the CPU, GPU and ISP. What sets these two apart is the inclusion of mmWave 5G, since the Helio M70 was the company's first 5G modem, but it lacked support for mmWave 5G bands.
The MediaTek M80 has support for both modes of 5G, ie non-standalone and standalone 5G, with maximum download and upload speeds (theoretical) of 7.67Gbps and 3.67Gbps respectively.
For some context, the M80's direct competitor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X60 is capable of reaching 7.5Gbps download speeds and 3Gbps in terms of upload speeds, while Samsung’s integrated 5G modem on the recently launched Exynos 2100 is capable of hitting 7.35Gbps in downlink and 3.67Gbps in the uplink.
Other important features of the M80 modem include carrier aggregation across both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G bands as well as support for Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). Dynamic Spectrum Sharing is a technology that allows carriers to operate 4G LTE and 5G simultaneously on the same network band, so as to reserve spectrum for either one of them.
The M80 comes with MediaTek’s UltraSave Network Environment Detection and UltraSave Content Awareness technologies, which are capable of dynamically adjusting power and operating frequency based on network conditions.
When Will It Be Available?
The MediaTek M80 will be sampled to customers in late 2021, so one should not expect a commercial device with this new modem to launch anytime soon. Similarly, details about which MediaTek Soc the new modem will be paired with remain to be a mystery at this point of time.