It isn't hard to get an Android 4.0 phone under $200 if you're willing to sign your life away with a contract. Getting one that's worthwhile at that same figure contract-free, however, requires some jumping through hoops. MediaTek must be an acrobat, as it just released the MT6577, a chip design for the most entry level of smartphones. The part's frugal focus doesn't keep it from stuffing in a dual-core, 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, a PowerVR SGX series 5 for graphics and an HSPA modem for 3G. Those specifications would only have been cutting-edge in 2011, but they're very speedy for a starter device in 2012 -- fast enough to drive Google's OS on a 720p screen while supporting 1080p video. The MT6577 is a drop-in replacement for its MT6575 ancestor, and it's accordingly going to be used very quickly by "leading global customers" this summer. Knowing MediaTek's most recent clients, that could soon lead to a sea of very affordable phones from Gigabyte, ZTE and others that have no problems eating an Ice Cream Sandwich.
MediaTek Launches Dual-Core MT6577 Smartphone Platform, Delivers Premium User Experience to Mid- and Entry-level Smartphones
MT6577 addresses fast growing sub-$200 smartphone segment
TAIWAN, 27 June 2012 – MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for
wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the availability
of the MT6577, a dual-core platform developed specifically for sub-$200 smartphones,
the fastest growing segment of the global smartphone market. The MediaTek MT6577
features a dual 1GHz Cortex™-A9 application processor from ARM, a PowerVR™ Series5
SGX GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies, MediaTek's proven 3G/
HSPA modem, and runs the latest Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system. By
integrating a dual-core application processor architecture widely deployed in the majority
of today's premium smartphones, the MT6577 boosts application and browser performance
by up to 40% compared to single-core platforms, bringing unprecedented levels of user
experience to mid- and entry-level smartphones.
"MediaTek's existing HSPA smartphone platforms - the MT6573 and MT6575 - have been
extremely well-received by customers and consumers worldwide, and are currently shipping
with major international brands such as Lenovo, TCL/Alcatel, and other top tier Chinese
OEMs," said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. "The MT6577 adds the next level of
performance and enhanced user experience to the MediaTek smartphone family, delivering
enhanced user interactivity, mobile connectivity and rich multi-media experience previously
only available on high-end devices. Consumers everywhere will now benefit from the
affordable, high-performance devices enabled by the MT6577. MediaTek is proud to be in
the vanguard of companies enabling the democratization of smartphones."
"Dual-core processors account for over 20% of current smartphone processor shipments,
with these devices being mostly in the premium segment and addressed by standalone
application processors. MediaTek's new MT6577, with integrated dual-core processors and
3G/HSPA modem is well suited to bringing similar user experiences to the fast-growing mid
and entry smartphone segment which is forecast to grow from under 200 Mu in 2012 to
over 500 Mu in 2016" said Stuart Robinson, Director, Handset Component Technologies
service at Strategy Analytics.
The MT6577 is designed to deliver rich multimedia experiences, with an 8MP camera,
support for up-to high-definition 1080p video playback and the ability to support high-
resolution displays up to HD720 (1280x720) resolution. The platform also pre-integrates
MediaTek's leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo that provides support for dual-band 802.11n
Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM. The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released
MT6575, allowing handset manufacturers to easily produce multiple tiers of devices leveraging a single PCBA hardware development effort.
The MT6577 dual-core platform is currently being incorporated into smartphone devices by
MediaTek's leading global customers, and the first smartphone models based on this new
chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q3 2012.