MediaTek powers quite a lot of Android phones, but the company’s higher-end offerings have never lived up to the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line. However, the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 may finally change that story if the company’s claims turn out to be true.

During an event this week, MediaTek unveiled the Dimensity 9000, which is the company’s most powerful chip to date. On raw performance, the chip will apparently be around 35% more powerful than the Snapdragon 888 as well as having 35% better GPU performance.

The architecture of Dimensity 9000 is built on a 4nm process using one Cortex-X2 core at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85GHz, and four Cortex-A510 cores at 1.8GHz, all in. A Mali-G710 GPU is in use, too, with an APU made of four performance cores and two flexible cores. The APU cores are used for AI.

Further rounding out the chip’s capabilities, the image-signal processor is a Gen 7, 18-bit Imagiq ISP which can capture a 320MP image and transfer data at 9 gigapixels per second. The onboard modem is capable of 5G, but only the sub-6 standard and not mmWave. This means the chip will most likely not be used in the US, where major carriers put heavy focus on mmWave 5G. The chip is also capable of Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E.

In benchmarking apps, MediaTek says that Dimensity 9000’s multicore score is roughly on par with Apple’s A15 from the iPhone 13 with a score over 4,000. However, MediaTek did not disclose any other comparisons to Apple’s chip which, generally speaking, tends to be considerably more powerful than other mobile chips.

Meanwhile, on the focus of AI, MediaTek claims that this new chip beats out Google Tensor. As it stands today, Tensor has shown it has the strongest AI performance on mobile chips. However, MediaTek claims that it will beat Tensor to the tune of roughly 16%, beating Apple’s latest chips by a whopping 66%, as PCMag highlighted.

Of course, at this point, we do now know what Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon chip will look like in comparison to this offering, but we’ll find out in about two weeks. Still, MediaTek is making clearly big strides on its chips, and it’ll be interesting to see if it translates to wider adoption.

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Ben Schoon

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