MediaTek, Arm Team Up: BlackHawk CPU Powers Dimensity 9400

Last year, MediaTek introduced the Dimensity 9300, which featured an “all-big-core” CPU architecture, significantly enhancing peak performance compared to its predecessor. It is rumored that this year MediaTek will continue with the “all-big-core” design, utilizing TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process (N3E), and is hopeful that the new Dimensity 9400 will surpass its competitor Qualcomm’s fourth-generation Snapdragon 8, with an expected release in the fourth quarter of this year.

According to Wccftech, MediaTek is collaborating with Arm and may implement a new core architecture codenamed “BlackHawk” in the Dimensity 9400, which is poised to deliver superior IPC performance.

Dimensity 9400 3nm process

Unlike Apple’s A17 Pro and Qualcomm’s fourth-generation Snapdragon 8, MediaTek still employs Arm’s standard core design, which may seemingly place the Dimensity 9400 at a disadvantage. Currently, MediaTek appears to be one of the few major clients of Arm consistently adopting the Cortex-X series cores. The rumored new “BlackHawk” core architecture is the Cortex-X5, which has demonstrated impressive performance in tests, surpassing Apple’s A17 Pro in IPC and outperforming Qualcomm’s proprietary chips.

Previous reports have indicated that the Dimensity 9400 will be the largest smartphone SoC, with a chip area of approximately 150mm². A larger chip size signifies a greater number of transistors; the Dimensity 9400 boasts over 30 billion transistors, a minimum increase of 32% over the 22.7 billion transistors in the Dimensity 9300. Rumors suggest a 20% improvement in GPU performance and efficiency, along with a higher cache and a larger neural processing unit, which will accelerate edge-generative AI speed and efficiency. Additionally, the Dimensity 9400 will also support LPDDR5T.

Due to the costliness of TSMC’s N3E process, the Dimensity 9400 is likely to be MediaTek’s most expensive smartphone SoC to date.