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BOOM! MediaTek parks tanks on Qualcomm's lawn

Boasts big HTC win, and streaming tech

MWC 2015 This time last year MediaTek was still smarting about sniffy comments made by Qualcomm. "You can’t take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari," Qualcomm's senior VP Anand Chandrasekher had said, referring to MediaTek’s 610 and 615 eight core smartphone chips.

Octo-Core chips were a “marketing gimmick”, Qualcomm had implied. Ah, that’s because you don’t know how to make Octo-Core chips, reckoned MediaTek. We can do them properly.

"They said it was dumb, but who is in the lead now?", marketing chief Johan Erik Lodenius told The Register. He is one of a couple of high profile Qualcomm executives hired by the Taiwanese chip designer. Kevin Jou is another.

This year, MediaTek has answered Qualcomm the best way possible: by parking its tanks on Qualcomm’s lawn, with high profile design wins. HTC’s One M8 successor uses Qualcomm’s troubled 810 Snapdragon chip. But, according to benchmarkers, HTC’s M9 phablet, with a 2560x1440 display, uses MediaTek’s MT6795 part. The phablet wasn't mentioned in HTC's event today.

In Barcelona today, it used Mobile World Congress to announce a performance crown contender, a new SoC for tablets – the MT8173 – that uses ARM's A72 and ARM A53 cores.

Standards, standards. You can't have too many

This year also sees MediaTek trying its hand in a new area: protocol standards. It’s built on the UPnP protocol to create a discovery and authorisation stack for throwing media streams and files and between devices across a network, or the cloud, called CrossMount. It’s claimed Lenovo has already signed up, and gave the stack a further push at MWC by creating an implementers’ alliance.

Examples of CrossMount cited by Mediatek today include pairing a smartphone’s earphone to hear TV output, or controlling a TV by voice commands, via the mobe’s microphone. Other examples include “mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session.” Mediatek thinks that in areas like education, where the simplest everyday things are still quite complicated, it could catch on.

CrossMount ships to industry customers in Q3 this year, said MediaTek.

Qualcomm, it should be noted, has some experience of steering its IP through the shark-infested waters of technical standards committees – where the water always seems to be coloured red. ®

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