Big Cores Squared: Dimensity 9400 Doubles Down on Its Winning Formula for Snapdragon Race

This year, MediaTek introduced the Dimensity 9300, breaking away from traditional architectural design thinking. This innovative chip features an “all-big-core” CPU architecture with a 4+4 octa-core configuration, consisting of four super-large cores (Cortex-X4@3.25 GHz) and four large cores (Cortex-A720@2.0 GHz). Compared to its predecessor, this architecture has achieved a substantial 40% increase in peak performance, while reducing power consumption by 33%.

According to Wccftech, although next year’s Dimensity 9400 won’t utilize super-large cores based on Cortex-X5, it will, like the Dimensity 9300, continue to adopt the “all-big-core” CPU architecture. This approach aims to outperform its rival, Qualcomm’s fourth-generation Snapdragon 8.

Next year, Qualcomm plans to introduce custom Oryon cores integrating NUVIA technology, departing from its previous designs based on Arm’s standard offerings. Rumors suggest that the fourth-generation Snapdragon 8 will abandon the use of efficiency cores, opting instead for performance cores codenamed “Phoenix” in a 2+6 octa-core architecture. Both Qualcomm and MediaTek are reportedly planning to use TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process (N3E) for manufacturing the chips of the fourth-generation Snapdragon 8 and Dimensity 9400. With both companies abandoning efficiency cores and leveraging new manufacturing processes, a significant improvement in multi-core performance is expected.

There are indications that several domestic Android smartphone manufacturers plan to adopt the Dimensity 9400. This decision is driven partly by the chip’s potentially superior performance and partly by considerations of chip pricing. Earlier, Chris Patrick, Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Business hinted that the pricing of the fourth-generation Snapdragon 8 would be higher than its predecessor. Such high pricing could impact the profit margins of smartphone manufacturers, requiring higher sales volumes to achieve profitability.