Apple A17 Rival? MediaTek’s 3nm Chip Steals the Show with AI Boost

This year, MediaTek has made a groundbreaking leap with the introduction of the Dimensity 9300. Breaking away from traditional architecture paradigms, it has innovatively designed an “all-big-core” CPU structure. This avant-garde dual-cluster architecture, consisting of four mega-cores (Cortex-X4@3.25 GHz) and four large cores (Cortex-A720@2.0 GHz), marks a significant departure from conventional designs. Rumors suggest that next year’s Dimensity 9400 will adhere to the same architectural philosophy, incorporating TSMC’s advanced second-generation 3nm process technology (N3E).

According to a UDN report, recently, MediaTek’s CEO,  Rick Tsai, stated that, bolstered by the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the market outlook for 2024 is promisingly optimistic. MediaTek is poised to concentrate on AI-centric chips, a strategy expected to yield favorable outcomes. The Dimensity 9300’s approach appears to be successful, as evidenced by an increase in orders, which has enhanced MediaTek’s global market share and exerted greater pressure on Qualcomm.

Rick Tsai noted that MediaTek is deeply collaborating with TSMC on the next-generation 3nm chips, with the project progressing steadily, though specific details remain undisclosed. Additionally, MediaTek is closely working with Intel for the foundry production of 16nm chips. While the discussion did not specify which 3nm chip, it probably refers to the Dimensity 9400. Opting for the N3E process, it is expected to see an improvement in yield and production volume compared to Apple’s A17 Pro and M3 chips using the initial N3B process.

There are indications that next year, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will also adopt the N3E process. This implies that both MediaTek and Qualcomm will be on par in semiconductor technology, with neither having a manufacturing edge. This sets the stage for a pure performance rivalry, providing a more comprehensive basis for comparison.