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MediaTek's flagship 5G chip for top-of-the-line Android smartphones is coming right up

And ready to go toe-to-toe with Qualcomm's finest next year

MediaTek is ready to show off its first real flagship processor that it hopes can take on Qualcomm's Snapdragon family in high-end Android smartphones.

The Taiwanese chip designer plans to unveil its Dimensity 2000 system-on-chip at the end of this week, said Dan Nystedt, a financial analyst in Taiwan who is reliable in these matters.

A few days ago, MediaTek shared a teaser video highlighting a chip made using a 4nm process. This component will compete against Qualcomm's top-end Snapdragon, which is expected to be announced at the US firm's annual Snapdragon summit later this month.

While these rival chips go toe-to-toe in higher-end Android smartphones, MediaTek hopes to eventually put its silicon into Arm-compatible Windows 11 PCs, which Qualcomm has a lock on. It is unclear whether the flagship Dimensity 2000 SoC will be used for that market.

The Dimensity chip will be "its entry in the flagship segment," with an opportunity to gain market share, MediaTek's CEO Rick Tsai said during an earnings call in October. The Arm-based SoC will have a 5G modem.

"Today, all major China brands have adopted our 5G flagship SoC. Revenue of the flagship product will begin at the end of this year, and run from first quarter next year," Tsai said, meaning devices containing the system-on-chip are expected to ship soon to buyers.

It remains to be seen if consumers are attracted to premium devices with MediaTek chips, which have mainly gone into low-cost devices in the past. The low-to-middling performance of MediaTek chips has also put off some buyers, though the new silicon may address that.

That said, MediaTek was the top mobile chip designer with a market share of 43 per cent share in the second quarter of 2021, growing from 26 per cent in the year-ago quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. Qualcomm's share dropped to 24 per cent compared to 28 per cent in the year-ago quarter. MediaTek's growth was driven by "a competitive 5G portfolio in the low-mid segment and without major supply constraints," Counterpoint said in a statement.

Spokespeople for MediaTek were not available for further comment. ®

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