MediaTek has unveiled its latest 5G 7-nanometer chipset which could help bring the superfast wireless connectivity to budget handsets globally.

As with any emerging technology, the very first wave of 5G devices and indeed 5G hardware brings with it a premium price tag. MediaTek has decided that shouldn’t be the case with its own 5G SoC that will offer solid performance and 5G connectivity to much more modest handsets.

MediaTek CPUs dominate an array of low-end handsets found on the market already. You’ll find them inside devices likes the Nokia 5.1 Plus and mostly cheaper Chinese devices from the likes of Meizu and even Xiaomi.

While having a solid combination of power efficiency and, indeed, power of its own, the MediaTek 5G SoCs won’t be heading to many flagship devices any time soon. The Integrated 5G SoC pairs MediaTek’s M70 5G modem with Arm’s Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU for some solid-if-unspectacular performance.

MediaTek 5G SoC

At present, there is only really Qualcomm and Samsung making 5G modems — thanks to the effective ban placed on Huawei and its Balong 5000. For brands looking to add 5G but not willing to pay a premium, MediaTek could provide an affordable option for cheap 5G connectivity.

As for the tech specs, the MediaTek 5G chipset offers 4.7Gbps maximum download speeds and 2.5Gbps maximum upload speeds, as well as multi-mode support for 2G through to 4G. There is also a neat dynamic power sharing that pre-allocates 5G bandwidth for specific applications to help modem power efficiency by up to 50%.

There is even support for 4K 60fps encode and decode and 80-megapixel imaging. It’s unlikely we’ll see many budget handsets hitting these upper limits but it’s still welcome support.

The new chipset will be ready by Q3 of 2019 and is expected to be found in commercial devices by the end of Q1 of 2020. We are expecting full specifications of the MediaTek 5G SoC to be introduced in the coming months.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: