MediaTek taps TSMC 6-nanometer tech for new flagship 5G phone chips


MediaTek chips are seen on a development board at the MediaTek booth during the 2015 Computex exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan, June 3, 2015. Computex, the world's second largest computer show, runs from June 2 to 6. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

(Reuters) - MediaTek Inc on Wednesday said it would use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's 6-nanometer chipmaking technology for its newest chips aimed at premium 5G smartphones.

Taiwan's MediaTek appears to be one of the first high-volume customers for the technology and is among a handful of companies with modem technology to connect phones to mobile data networks, competing against Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The new chips announced Wednesday, called Dimensity 1100 and 1200, build on MediaTek's efforts to go after higher-priced handsets where Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips have historically had stronger market share.

Like Qualcomm and Apple, MediaTek designs chips and then contracts out production to outside firms. The newest chips will be made at TSMC, on a chipmaking technology called 6-nanometer. Qualcomm's chips are being made by Samsung on 5-nanometer technology while Apple Inc uses TSMC's 5-nanometer technology.

Smaller chipmaker technology is faster and more power efficient. MediaTek's previous chips used a 7-nanometer process, and moving to newer manufacturing technology along with advances in the chip's design make it 22% faster at computing tasks while consuming 25% less power, Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international corporate sales, told Reuters in an interview.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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