MediaTek Goes For Smartphone Bragging Rights With 10-Core Helio X20 'Tri-Cluster' Processor

MediaTek introduced the first true octa-core mobile processor back in 2013 at a time when most flagship Android smartphones were packing quad-core processors. Today we’re learning that, just as today’s Android flagships have come around to octa-core power (HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6/Galaxy S6 Edge), MediaTek is preparing to launch a 10-core mobile processor later this year.

That’s right, ten friggin’ cores for your smartphone or tablet. Remember, Apple’s iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2 are still rocking dual-core and triple-core processors respectively, and definitely hasn’t limited the appeal of those devices. But it appears that MediaTek is going after bragging right this time around, and it will definitely be unmatched when it comes to core count.


The MediaTek Helio X20 (MT6795), which is built on a 20nm process, will feature 10 cores bundled into three distinct groupings, aka a “Tri-Cluster.” There will be two, quad-core groupings of processors that will handle low-power tasks (four 2GHz Cortex-A53, four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53). The final grouping will include a dual-core, 2.5GHz Cortex-A72 that will handle all the heavy lifting when high performance is required.

According to MediaTek, opting for a three groupings of processors is akin to a car operating more efficiently with three gears rather than just two. MediaTek U.S. marketing chief Mohit Bhushan states that the Helio X20 can “run more power efficiently without losing any performance” and can be up to 30 percent more power efficient than ARM’s typical big.LITTLE arrangement.

On the graphics front, you’ll find an ARM Mali-T800 series GPU complete with four shader cores and a clock speed of 700MHz. MediaTek is aiming for 40 percent performance improvement and a 40 percent lower power profile than the PowerVR G6200 which can be found in the previous generation Helio X10.

And the Helio X20 isn’t just about upping the core count and improving efficiency, it will also include a Category 6 LTE modem that can tackle the bands of all U.S. carriers.

MediaTek will begin samples of the Helio X20 in the latter half of 2015, and we should expect to see shipping products with the processor early next year.