MediaTek (聯發科技), the Taiwan-based fabless semiconductor company, is set to release their latest 6-nanometer chipset called “Dimensity 1200” on January 20.
Chinese 5G smartphone chip orders secured
It is said that MediaTek already has the next 5-nanometer chips “Dimensity 2000” secured for leading 5G Chinese smartphone brands, Oppo, Vivo and Honor.
A capacity of 20,000 5-nanometer chips production per month is planned in advance with TSMC.
Volume shipment can be expected in the fourth quarter of 2021 and would be carried in the upcoming smartphones by the first quarter of 2022, an offering that is poised to a strong position in the 5G market.
MediaTek had declined to make further comments.
Largest rival caught up in the US-China tech cold war
The US government banned accessing the US technology for manufacturing the Chinese telecom behemoth, Huawei’s chips. A move that took place in May 2020 has led a number of Chinese phone companies to disperse their upstream supply chain in fear of becoming the next Huawei.
Qualcomm (高通), the biggest rival of MediaTek is thus being caught up in the US-China tech cold war.
The former Huawei sub-brand, Honor, was subsequently sold out to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co. for independent operation from Huawei and MediaTek, already a partner of several Chinese telecoms, was left with an advantageous position to fill in the void that the tech cold war had created.
MediaTek took over the leading IC design in the third quarter of 2020 by 31% market share, with Qualcomm having 29%. However, Qualcomm held a majority 39% market share for the 5G smartphones in particular, according to the market research firm Counterpoint.
5G smartphone market is promising
Although MediaTek has released the Dimensity series to target the 5G market, Qualcomm holds a strong high-end image for chip designs. As the performance of MediaTek is improved, it is gradually entering the flagship smartphone market that is also affordable.
Last year, roughly 200 million 5G phones were on the market, and the number is predicted to increase to 500 million this year. MediaTek is looking to double its shipment this year, in hope to reach 100 million for the 5G chipset market.
This may be a chance for MediaTek to reverse its ever second-string position in the IC design market.