MediaTek Dimensity 9000: Everything you need to know about the flagship chipset
LAGUNA BEACH, USA (Pocket-lint) – MediaTek has announced the Dimensity 9000, which is set to take on Qualcomm’s yet-to-be-revealed Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform in the race for the best top-end chipset for 2022.
With the top-end Dimensity 1200 already in the market, you might be wondering why Dimensity 9000 is important. Well, it uses the latest 4nm production process, bringing additional advantages across a variety of key areas.
So should it be the chipset that you want in your next flagship device? Here’s a summary of what Dimensity 9000 can support and why that matters.
How powerful is Dimensity 9000?
- 4nm system-on-chip (SoC) with octa-core CPU:
- 1x ‘Ultra core’: Arm Cortex-X2 to 3.05GHz
- 3x ‘Super cores’: Arm Cortex-A710 to 2.85GHz
- 4x ‘Efficiency cores’: Arm Cortex-A510
- LPDDR5X memory support (7500Mbps)
- 5th gen AI processing unit (APU)
Interestingly, MediaTek has ‘skipped’ a generation: the Dimensity 1200 is a 6nm process, while the Dimensity 9000 jumps straight to 4nm, effectively bypassing 5nm. Ultimately that smaller figure means shorter travel for current within the CPU and therefore greater efficiency and power savings.
That goes hand-in-hand with support for LPDDR5X RAM, which is approaching 25 per cent faster than the previous generation, and again is designed for lower power consumption when delivering 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and edge applications.
What features does Dimensity 9000 support?
But it’s really the support for key areas of flagship phones where Dimensity 9000 shows-off just what it can do.
- 320-megapixel camera resolution support
The Dimensity 9000 supports a whopping 320-megapixels – the maximum previously was 200MP – which makes it the first flagship mobile processor to provide such support.
The image signal processor (ISP) is a massive 9 Gigapixels per second. Think about that for a second: that’s nine billion pixels per second processing capacity. To put that in perspective: even the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus has a 2.7Gpixel/s capacity. Dimensity 9000 could, in theory, capture 150MP images at 60 frames per second. Or two 8K streams at 120fps.
In addition, Dimensity 9000 has what’s described as “a flagship 18-bit HDR-ISP design”. That’s a high dynamic range (HDR) image signal processor, to breakdown the acronyms, which can support HDR video recording in up to three cameras simultaneously. That could create some really interesting zoom-while-recording options, for example.
In short: expect flagship devices camera resolutions to increase. But not just to output giant images, rather to provide more pixel sites for the sake of processing and dynamic range potential in both stills and Ultra-HD video capture.
- 180Hz display refresh rate support (at Full HD+ resolution)
- 144Hz at WQHD+ resolution
Refresh rate is the number of cycles per second that a screen repeats its image. The more per second the smoother it looks during motion. It seems like only a year ago that displays were offering 90Hz or 120Hz maximum refresh rates, or some gaming devices with 144Hz.
Dimensity 9000 jumps well beyond that, with support for a 180Hz refresh rate – assuming a Full HD+ resolution at maximum. That sets a precedent for where this processor could appear: it’s strong enough to drive a flagship gaming device. Even if the resolution increases – and WQHD+ equates to 2960 x 1440 – then that dips to 144Hz maximum. Still impressive.
However, we do wonder if the battery demands beyond 120Hz, or when a device is not functioning dynamically and adjusting the refresh, is worth the trade off.
- Arm Mali-G710 MC10 graphics processor
- Ray-tracing SDK using Vulkan for Android
Speaking of which, in addition to a powerful octa-core processor, the Dimensity 9000 has a powerful graphics processor. So much that, with an SDK (software development kit) using Vulkan for Android, there’s support for ray-tracing – meaning more realistic lighting and reflections support potential in Android games. No longer being the reserve of PC or next-gen console is a pretty wild prospect on mobile.
- First ‘Release 16’ 5G smartphone modem
- Sub-6GHz with 3CC Carrier Aggregation (300MHz) 7Gbps downlink
- Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E
As ever there’s 5G support – but only Sub-6GHz, not mmWave. However, the Dimensity 9000 is the first to realise a ‘Release 16’ 5G modem, which can take advantage of wider spectrum bandwidth, which could mean even speedier 5G connectivity.
There’s also Wi-Fi 6E support, which builds upon the existing 802.11ax standard, making for even faster 6GHz support. You’ll need compatible modems to get the most out of this, of course, but if you do then that should mean double-fast download times.
When will Dimensity 9000 devices launch?
That’s the million dollar question: which handsets will feature MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 processor?
There’s no official announcements at this stage, but we’re sure there will be a number of big players looking to feature this top-end chipset to benefit from those core features summarised above.
Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 18 November 2021.
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