MediaTek is continuing on its assault to gain ground in the processor and chipset market, making sure perennial leaders Qualcomm, Intel, and Samsung (Exynos) are just within reach. It has already gained the respect of the industry when it put out the MediaTek Helio series of chipsets, making sure there is another alternative for OEMs – and probably a more affordable one at that. At CES 2016, MediaTek is also targeting the wearables market, with the new MT2523 chipset designed specifically for smartwatches.
MediaTek's MT2523 product family is based around a package that has a micro controller unit (MCU), dual-mode Bluetooth, GPS and a power management unit (PMU). The MCU enables OEMs to make wearable devices with lower power consumption and with smaller form factors than usual. You also get a high-resolution mobile display capable of true color, per pixel alpha channel, and anti-aliasing.
The main processing unit is an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, which combines high-efficiency with low power, and more importantly, low cost. MediaTek is not shirking its low-cost image, but copying the model of a lot of China-based manufacturers where they are proving low-cost doesn’t necessarily mean low in performance.
MediaTek says that the first MT2523 processors should be available for OEMs to put in new smartwatch designs sometime in the first half of 2016. That translates to a market visibility around Q3 of 2016. Let’s hope MediaTek can actually have some good effects on the wearables market.