Pentonic 1000 Upgrades 4K TVs

MediaTek’s newest smart-TV processor targets high-end 4K screens that display up to 120 frames per second (4K120). It features AI-enabled upscaling and can display eight video streams at once.
Linley Gwennap
Linley Gwennap

The leader in smart-TV chips, MediaTek has a vision for the future of TV sets. As screens get ever larger and pack more pixels, they become easily divisible into multiple windows, better suiting a new generation of people who constantly multitask. For example, a viewer could watch a sports match while scrolling through related social-media posts in a side window. For a virtual watch party, the screen could show a movie along with smaller pictures of remote friends as they comment. Or a group video chat could divide the screen into a “Brady Bunch” grid of participants.

To enable this vision, the company offers the Pentonic 1000, which targets flagship 4K-resolution TVs that display video at up to 120 frames per second (fps) and support variable refresh rates of up to 144fps for gaming. Packing four Cortex-A73 CPUs and a dual-core Mali-G57 GPU, the processor has enough power to handle as many as eight video streams, each in a separate window. Its AI engine can smartly optimize images and even upscale content to 4K in real time. MediaTek expects the chip to enter production in 1Q23 and appear in TVs the following quarter.

A year ago, the company rolled out the Pentonic 2000 for 8K TVs, but with almost no streaming or broadcast content available in this resolution, sales have been slow. Costing thousands of dollars, these super-high-resolution screens constituted less than 0.2% of 2021 TV sales, and 2022 has seen little growth. By contrast, most TVs sold in the US and other high-income countries have 4K screens. In addition to the Pentonic 1000, MediaTek also offers the Pentonic 700 for 4K 120fps (4K120) TVs.

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