MediaTek Boosts Budget Chromebooks

MediaTek’s new Kompanio 520 and 528 serve entry-level Chromebooks. With two higher-tier series targeting mid- and top-tier Chromebooks, the company has been free to optimize the new chips for cost and power.
Bryon Moyer
Bryon Moyer

MediaTek’s Kompanio 520 and 528 update the budget tier of that processor family, targeting Chromebooks. Their faster “big” CPUs increase single-thread performance by 80%, but power rises only 10% because the new chips have fewer of them and more “little” CPUs.

The 520 sports two Cortex-A76s and six Cortex-A55s compared with the original Kompanio 500, which has four Cortex-A73s and four Cortex-A53s. In production now, the 520 and 528 are identical except for the big-CPU clock speed, which is 10% higher in the latter model. GPU performance increases by 20%, internal display resolution increases nominally while adding support for an external display, and video coverage improves.

The Kompanio family includes the entry level 500-series, the mid-tier 800-series, and the high end 1000-series. The 500 was the family’s debut, arriving in 2019; the other Kompanios arrived in 2021 and 2022. The 500 was therefore ripe for an update.

Intel x86 chips dominate Chromebooks. Focusing particularly on the education market, MediaTek is expanding its Chromebook footprint against Intel and Qualcomm. Asus and Lenovo plan to launch Chromebooks featuring the new chips in 1Q23.

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