Dimensity 9300 Sports Four Cortex-X4s
Author: Joseph Byrne
MediaTek’s Dimensity 9300 diverges from the three-tier approach taken by flagship Android-smartphone processors. Instead of a single Arm Cortex X CPU, it has four of Arm’s new Cortex-X4s. And, although it still has four Cortex-A7xx CPUs, it eliminates the little Cortex A5xx CPUs. The new chip also amps up GPU and AI performance, raising the former by 46% and nearly doubling the latter.
The Dimensity 9000 series emerged in 2021 as an alternative to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 processors. Offering similar features as its rival, the Dimensity chips are found in premium devices from Oppo, Vivo, and others, sometimes in models similar to Qualcomm-based devices from the same brands.
MediaTek licenses its CPUs and GPUs from Arm. Retaining the eight-core approach of past flagship processors, the D9300 employs the Cortex X4 and Cortex A720 designs. The company runs the A720s at a relatively slow speed to reduce power. Compared with the previous-generation D9200, power efficiency increases. At an operating point where it draws the same power as the D9200 at max speed, the D9300 delivers 15% more single-thread performance.
AI fever has caught up to MediaTek, and the company used the D9300 launch to showcase how image generation and large language models can run on a small device. Although these AI demonstrations garner attention, of more immediate consumer interest are picture-taking and voice-quality enhancements that require less AI hardware. Like its main rival, MediaTek must work with phone OEMs and its OS supplier to show the practical value of building so much AI-processing horsepower into a smartphone.
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