MediaTek’s next chip will compete with Qualcomm to bring productive AI to phones.

MediaTek on Monday introduced its latest silicon for premium Android phones, the Dimensity 9300. Along with incremental improvements in performance and battery life, the chip also adds something expected to be hugely popular in 2024: on-device generative AI.

Phone makers making their own chips have introduced AI features, such as Google’s Tensor silicon that enables Magic Editor and live translation, but generative AI has become the new frontier for mobile AI.

MediaTek’s announcement comes a few weeks after Qualcomm introduced the 3rd generation Snapdragon 8 processor, which is set to bring on-device artificial intelligence to its flagship phones, starting with the recently announced Xiaomi 14. It will be enough to be excited by the features of each of the chips. MediaTek expects the first phones with Dimensity 9300 to be released soon.

Read more: I could have used phone AI like Qualcomm’s ChatGPT on my trip to Hawaii

As far as the capabilities of this chip go, MediaTek is not as prolific as Qualcomm in terms of artificial intelligence. Although the Dimensity 9300 appears to be in the mainstream of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the MediaTek chip takes less than a second to render a Stable Diffusion image and can run 7 billion parameter AI models at 20 tokens per second. It can also run 13 billion parameter models and up to 33 billion parameters with reduced tokens per second. Finally, this gives the chip longer life by using more robust language models.

Instead, MediaTek introduced the Dimensity 9300 due to its 46 percent better peak performance and 40 percent less power required to match the performance of last year’s Dimensity 9200 chip. The new silicon also has 46 percent better ray tracing than its predecessor. MediaTek ran a direct comparison with Qualcomm’s newly announced chip, saying that the Dimensity 9300 scored more than 7,600 points on a real device in the Geekbench 6.0 benchmark, compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s score of 7,501 in what MediaTek called a “lab environment.” has done. CNET ran the Geekbench 6 test on a sample smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and found similar results.

One difference between the two chips is the architecture. MediaTek’s Dimensity 9300 is a 4nm plus TSMC with eight cores in total: four X4 performance cores (one at 3.25GHz, three cores at 2.85GHz) and four Cortex A720 efficiency cores running at 2GHz. The 3rd generation Snapdragon 8 is a 4nm TSMC and has eight cores: a 3.3GHz super core, five high-performance cores (three 3.2GHz and two 3GHz cores) and two low-performance cores. with a frequency of 2.3 GHz.

Another difference is which phones end up using each of the chips. Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Vivo have used Dimensity chips in their premium phones, but those selling devices in the US, such as Samsung and Motorola, typically use Snapdragon chips for their high-end phones. While that could always change, MediaTek doesn’t expect to get big in the U.S. this year, though it sees more opportunity for European markets.

Finbarr Moynihan, head of corporate marketing at MediaTek, said: “We certainly feel that we can deliver everything a flagship needs and meet the needs of US carriers. In the short term, we will see that China will be the most important market for these devices in the short term.

In addition to improving overall performance, the Dimensity 9300 adds to the camera’s capabilities with 16-object segmentation (shifting light and focus for up to 16 objects), pixel-level autofocus, independent optical image stabilization, and more to help phones take better photos. get better

For foldables, the chip supports dual active displays at 4K up to 120Hz, along with Google Ultra HDR display support in Android 14. Connectivity improvements with MediaTek’s UltraSave 5G bring 10% more energy efficiency as well as longer range for Wi-Fi connectivity.

We’ll have to wait to get our hands on a phone with the Dimensity 9300 to see if it lives up to its benchmark claims. But perhaps more interesting is what manufacturers will do with its generative AI capabilities — even if MediaTek is less interested in the new technology, device makers and users want to see what’s possible in the next era of smartphones.

Editors’ note: CNET uses an artificial intelligence engine to help generate some stories. For more information, see this post.

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