MediaTek Dimensity 8000 SoCs Promise Flagship Performance For Cheaper 5G Android Phones

MediaTek Dimensity 8100 and 8000 on a dark blue background
Most of the announcements bound for this year's Mobile World Congress even hit the news wire a bit early, though it hasn't been completely dry since the initial flurry. To wit, MediaTek has unveiled a pair of Dimensity 8000 series SoCs that are intended to bring "flagshlp level technology" and performance to Android phones at cheaper price points.

How much cheaper remains to be seen, as the Dimensity 8100 and 8000 are both, on paper, a cut above what you would find in the mainstream and/or mid-range space. They borrow from MediaTek's previously announced (back in November of last year) flagship Dimensity 9000 series and are built on TSMC's 5-nanometer node.

"You could say the MediaTek Dimensity 8000 series is the little brother to our flagship Dimensity 9000 chip. Meaning it brings flagship grade features and next level energy efficiency to the premium smartphone market,” said CH Chen, Deputy General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communications Business Unit.

Whereas the Dimensity 9000 series takes aim at the very top of the performance summit, the Dimensity 8000 series aims to get pretty darn close, thereby "giving smartphone vendors more options to balance performance and pricing while still offering flagship level gaming and AI capabilities."

What does all that mean in terms of actual specifications? Both chips rock an octa-core CPU powered by four Arm Cortex-A78 cores clocked at up 2.85GHz (9000) or 2.75GHz (8000), and four efficiency Cortex-A55 cores clocked at up to 2GHz for a 4+4 configuration. Additionally, both sport a Mali-G610-MC6 GPU. And just as the main CPU cores are clocked higher on the Dimensity 8100 versus the 8000, MediaTek says the GPU operates up to 20 percent higher while gaming. The NPU is boosted as well.

This is similar to the approach Qualcomm has taken with some of its previous generation Snapdragon silicon, like the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 888+. Same general hardware, but a little faster and, in some instances, more capable.

The other point of separation is display support. MediaTek's Dimensity 8000 can power FHD+ displays at up to 165HZ, while the Dimensity 8100 can drive WQHD+ displays, up to 120Hz. Otherwise, these two SoCs share the same features and specs, including an Imagiq 780 ISP that supports up to a 200MP primary and camera and HDR video recording, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, UFS 3.1 storage, and quad-channel LPDDR5 memory configurations.

As you might imagine, 5G connectivity is part of the package, though support is limited to Sub-6GHz. There's no mmWave radio.

MediaTek says smartphones powered by the Dimensity 8000 series will be available in the first quarter of this year "by some of the world's biggest smartphone brands."