Taiwanese chipset company MediaTek will launch a dual-capability— 4G-and-5G chipset this year in the run-up to the fifth-generation (5G) technology-driven commercial rollouts and is upbeat on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-backed devices, with arch-rival Unisoc also planning a similar launch.
“For 5G, we have announced M70 chip that will have dual capability. It will be launched this year, so we are prepared for the newer technology. 5G and AI are two things that we are very bullish about,” MediaTek India managing director Anku Jain told ETT.
MediaTek competes with the US-based Qualcomm that has already showcased its dual capability device and is currently working with as many as 20 original device makers (ODM) worldwide including India.
Jain said that the company’s Helio P70 chipset’s core feature include AI which was fairly well accepted by the company’s ODM customers.
The chip major said that some of the homegrown handset makers such as Micromax, Lava and Karbonn were also coming up with AI-powered handsets, and it had a portfolio of AI chipsets that include Helio A22, Helio P22 and Helio P60.
Unisoc, company’s Chinese rival, is also currently developing a dual capability chipset which is slated to be released this year.
Neeraj Sharma, Country Head—India at Unisoc said “We will ensure that high-priority consideration and support is given to the Indian market during the product design phase”.
The Hsinchu-based firm is currently doing field trials with operators like CMCC, a mobile service provider driving 5G in China, and for the Indian market, according to the top executive, it would soon undertake pilots.
The new MediaTek Helio M70 is a multimode chipset with 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G-enabled support with the sub-6GHz frequency band.
The executive feels that 5G is expected to arrive in 2020 which would be the time by when necessary infrastructure would be deployed.
Sharma, however, believes that 2021-2022 would be a relatively more mature period for the 5G technology to mark its presence in the country.
“Right now the bottleneck is infrastructure, and from MediaTek’s point of view, we will be there to provide the 5G devices as soon as the infrastructure is up,” Jain added.
MediaTek, also a member of the 5G Device Forerunner Initiative, is empowering industry partners to drive the development of 5G devices and has partnered with China Mobile, Huawei, Nokia, and NTT DOCOMO to establish a 5G industry ecosystem.