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Dimensity 1200 & 1100: New MediaTek SoCs could challenge Qualcomm's dominance

Dimensity 1200
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Exynos 2100, Snapdragon 888, A14, and more recently, the Snapdragon 870 - by now, you surely have an idea about the SoCs that will end up on high-end handsets in the coming months. Chip manufacturer MediaTek, not to be left behind, has joined the party recently and announced two new chipsets in the form of the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and 1100.

Chances are high we could see these chipsets appear on several mid-range to upper mid-range handsets later this year.

Now, just in case you weren't aware, MediaTek is a Taiwanese chipmaker which is known for its value for money processors usually used on budget and mid-range category phones.  Among others, we reviewed the Realme 7Alcatel 3L, and 1S smartphones with MediaTek chips in 2020. However, as Rahul wrote in a piece of news the other day, this focus on cheaper devices gave MediaTek the decisive edge late last year to replace Qualcomm as the largest chip manufacturer for Q4, 2020. 

With the new MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and 1100 SoCs, the manufacturer is now blowing the dust off its Dimensity 1000 series. And with the new Dimesity 1100 and 1200 SoCs, the company is trying to further bridge the gap between Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888, which will make its debut with the Xiaomi Mi 11.

Dimensity 1100 and 1200: What is new?

There is no denying that Qualcomm is still the current king of the hill, beating out MediaTek in terms of manufacturing. While the Snapdragon 888 is manufactured using the 5nm process, the new 1100 and 1200 chips rely on a 6nm manufacturing process from TSMC. Both the Dimensity 1200 and 1100 also rely on the same Mali-G77 GPU and support Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 wireless standards, in addition to dual-5G.

The processing cores of the Dimensity 1200 consist of one Cortex-A78 with a clock speed of 3 GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores with 2.6 GHz as well as four Cortex-A55 cores with a respective clock speed of 2 GHz. The total of eight cores thus divide tasks such as high-performance functions and efficient processing among themselves, making the SoC more flexible.

The less-powerful Dimensity 1100 relies instead on two clusters of four Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.6 GHz and a quartet of Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2 GHz. In addition to the architecture, differences can also be found in the capabilities of the image signalling processors, or ISPs.

Support for168 Hz refresh rate, 200-megapixel cameras

The Dimensity 1200, as the new top performer, gets an ISP  that supports images of up to 200 megapixels. It also supports simultaneous data processing from multiple sensors. In case you need to know how exactly image processing works in SoCs using the Snapdragon 888 as an example, you can read all about it here.

Smartphones equipped with the Dimensity 1100 chipset, on the other hand, supports a maximum resolution of 108-megapixels.

Both the new SoCs support QHD+ resolutions at 90 Hertz, while in FHD+ mode, it can go as high as 144 Hz on the 1100 and up to 168 Hz on the 1200 model.

First smartphones based on these new processors are just around the corner and as obvious from the tweet above, Realme has already registered a Dimensity 1200-powered smartphone.

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Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Head of Editorial DE

Ben has been working in tech journalism since 2018, was a freelancer in the middle of the CoVid-crisis and has been full-time at NextPit since November '20. Since then he has tries to find the right mix between professional competence, humor and fresh perspectives in reviews and texts.

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