MediaTek samples first 4nm ARM v9 chip for 320Mpixel smartphones

November 22, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
MediaTek samples first 4nm ARM v9 chip for 320Mpixel smartphones
MediaTek’s eight core Dimensity 9000 is the first chip to use the new ARMv9 architecture and is built on TSMC’s 4nm process

MediaTek is sampling the first chip to use the ARM v9 architecture, using TSMC’s N4 4nm process.

The eight core Dimensity 9000 is aimed at flagship smartphones launching in 2022. It is based around the ARM Cortex-X2 core with a burst clock frequency of 3.05GHz alongside three Cortex-A710 up to 2.85GHz for high performance processing and four Cortex-A510 cores for power efficient operation.

There is an 8Mbyte L3 cache with a 6Mbyte ‘system’ cache to minimise off chip data transfers. It is also the first chip to uses the low power LPDDR5X memory with a 7500Mbit/s interface.

An 18bit HDR image signal processor with three exposures per frame from a 320Mpixel sensor allows HDR video to be captured from HDR video on three cameras simultaneously to provide wide, standard and zoom modes for later editing, or allowing livestream fans to potentially pick any camera they choose.

Mediatek says the AI processing unit (APU) is four times more power efficient than the previous with four performance cores and two flexible cores. The chip also includes the ARM Mali-G710 graphics processor and also introduced a new raytracing SDK that supports the Vulkan standard for Android games.

The Dimensity 9000 integrates the only 5G smartphone modem with 3GPP Release-16 (R16) standard technology into the chip. This provides 3CC Carrier Aggregation at 300MHz for a 7Gbit/s downlink and also supports R16 enhancements in the transmision switching for SUL (supplementary uplink) and new radio (NR) carrier aggregation uplinks.

The chip also includes WiFi 6E 2x2 support with Beidou III-B1C GNSS support for navigation.

The chip is intended to take on Apple’s latest M1 Max and Max Pro chips in the iPhone 13 and the shrink of those chips to TSMC's 3nm process for the iPhone 14, as well as Qualcomm’s high end Snapdragon devices. The latest Snapdragon 888 uses the ARMv8 Cortex-X1 core but a new version of the chip is expected shortly.

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