Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek on Thursday said it is set to introduce a 5G-enabled chipset in India by the end of this year to step up the competition around faster wireless data connections. “5G is a very big focus area for us. The SoC (system-on-chip) will surely be launched by the end of the year and shipped next year,” Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India, told IANS here. The company is busy working on 5G-enabled chipsets.
“We came up with the M70 modem last year that provides 5G capabilities and it will be shipped later this year with a SoC which combines the modem and the CPU into one single chip,” Jain added. The company, however, did not reveal an exact timeline for the SoC launch. The chipset manufacturer announced its Helio M70 5G modem at the China Mobile Global Partner Conference in Guangzhou early last year.
The modem is among the industry’s first batch of 5G multi-mode modems with integrated baseband and 5Gbps download speeds. The Taiwanese firm has three facilities in India which focus on R&D. It opened its first R&D-focused centre in Noida in 2004 while the one in Bengaluru was opened in 2014.
“Since 5G is a big focus, a lot of our research and development (R&D) efforts are going into 5G development,” said Jain. With a headcount of 650 employees across these centres, the India R&D is the company’s third biggest in the world. The chipset making major said it was also looking to boost its R&D strength in the country to more than 800 staffers.
“India holds an important place as a market and also in terms of the talent pool. We have around 650 people for R&D in India and we look to grow it further,” informed Jain. The company has also joined hands with KaiOS Technologies — the maker of KaiOS mobile operating system (OS) for smart feature phones.
The partnership with KaiOS would help MediaTek chips to power 3G and 4G feature devices. As part of this collaboraion, the KaiOS OS would run on the MediaTek 3G MT6572 platform and MediaTek MT6731 — a newly announced platform that can support dual-4G SIM cards in mobile devices. The first batch of KaiOS-powered MT6572 and MT6731 3G/4G smart feature phones are expected to hit the market in the second quarter of this year.