MediaTek is one of the fastest growing chip makers in the world. The company has the largest share of the global smartphone IC market.
But even that is less than 60% of MediaTek’s revenue. The company has a high or dominant market share in a variety of device types, including smart TVs, routers, and Chromebooks with its Kompanio processors. Although it has partnered with Intel and AMD to offer 5G modems for x86 laptops, Windows cannot run on MediaTek processors intended for PCs, while Chrome OS can.
At least not yet.
Mediatek Traction Increase
Riding the wave of Chromebooks, MediaTek is exploiting part of the PC market that now represents a significant segment. Testing also shows that MediaTek Chromebooks offer longer battery life than competing Celeron Chromebooks, despite MediaTek devices having significantly smaller batteries.
This matches my experience using entry-level MediaTek Chromebooks, which provide exceptional battery life and satisfying performance for some of the most affordable computing devices on the market.
The latest addition to the Kompanio family, the 1200 series, is aimed at high-end Chromebooks. This series offers Core i3-level performance for devices priced at $ 300-500, which MediaTek says is Google’s goal.
Towards i7-level performance
MediaTek claims to have a Kompanio with Core i7-level performance on its roadmap. In fact, this level of processing power could be the key to allowing the company to finally enter the Windows market, which it must do to continue to gain market share. MediaTek has no plans to enter the market yet, citing the fact that the Windows experience on Arm is still in development. Despite years of effort by Microsoft and Qualcomm, and Microsoft’s changes to Windows to improve the experience, Snapdragon-based PCs have limited scope, selection, and volume.
These limited advances were amplified when Apple introduced the first Mac M1, with impressive performance per watt. And while Apple itself has limited market share in the PC market, the company is on track to make a full transition from Macs to its own Arm-based silicon in two years.
Qualcomm has responded by announcing the creation of a new processor core to integrate the technology from its acquisition of Nuvia, as reports indicate that its exclusive partnership with Microsoft is nearing completion.
Assuming these measures allow Qualcomm to better compete with Intel and AMD mid-range Windows PCs (as well as M-series Macs), a large portion of PCs remains MediaTek’s primary target. And if nothing is planned right away, MediaTek hints that it is ready to pull the trigger as soon as the major Windows OEMs are ready – companies where it already has a foot in the door thanks to its Chromebook business.
A reboot of Qualcomm and MediaTek’s entry into the market could make the Windows processor market look very different in the next five years.
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