MediaTek Technology Diaries in Chennai-Updates

last week I was invited for an interactive session with Media Tek India management. MediaTek hosted an event to interact with bloggers and media persons from Chennai and thanks to this event I got to learn a bit more about 5G, the work being done by Mediatek and how they are powering technology innovations.
MediaTek team was lead by Anku Jain, MD, Mediatek India and Anuj Sidharth, Deputy Director, Marketing. RJ Sano hosted the event attended by Chennai's mediapersons, bloggers and influencers.
There're many companies and people in the world, whose existence and work benefits us a lot, but we're grossly ignorant to their existence and contribution. Largely because we don't see their brand name popping up often or because we don't really interact with them directly. MediaTek is probably one such company. Their chips are used in hundreds of devices- every third smartphone is powered by a Mediatek chip, they are number 1 in voice assistants, android tablets and several other categories of everyday electronic gadgets we use. But because they are not in B2C space, most end consumers are not much aware about the MediaTek brand and its semiconductor products.

Some key information about MediaTek, extracted from management presentation and media kit.

  1. MediaTek powers over 1.5 billion devices each year world wide.
  2. MediaTek is 5G ready with its new 5G SOC (Systems on Chip) and will begin roll out to OEMs in 2020. Eventually we will have 5G enabled handsets and network that can let us download a full move in 3.5 seconds
  3. MediaTek chips power several branded smartphones, tablets and gadgets, including those made by Xiaomi, Oppo, Realme, LG, Amazon and more.
  4. Mediatek takes pride in making technology more accessible and affordable, not necessarily privilege of those financially well off. One in 3 smartphones are powered by Mediatek and around 20% of homes in the world have a Mediatek powered device.
  5. Mediatek is world's 4th largest fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Taiwan and presence in several countries around the world, including India. (Fabless means the company doesn't manufacture the actual silicon wafers,but mostly provides innovations and design solutions related to chip making while actual manufacturing is outsourced)
  6. Mediatek spent about 25% of their revenue (about 8 billion USD) last year on R&D
  7. MediaTek Diaries is a program planned to make consumers more aware about Mediatek products, innovations and more
  8. Mediatek's flagship chip is called Helios, latest to hit the market being P90
  9. Besides chips, mediatek is also into automation and AI- have several solutions on offer that can be used for real life applications
  10. MediaTek also supports narrow band IOT (devices that do not need constant high speed internet connection but can manage with occasional low speed connections)

I asked a few questions to MediaTek Management. Below are the summary of Q&A:
Q1: I read about birds dying due to testing of 5G technology in Amsterdam and other places around the world- is it true? 
A: No. The deaths are not due to 5G. Had 5G been proved dangerous governments around the world wouldn't have allowed it. [Read more]

Q2: Are you under any pressure to severe ties with Huawei? 
A: No comments
(Understandable as this is a politically sensitive topic. Another chipmaker, ARM has reportedly stopped working with Huawei - BBC news)

Q3:  There're increasing concerns about privacy- mobiles and personal assistants like Alexa constantly collecting user data and passing it to 3rd party agencies for commercial exploitation. As a chip maker how do you deal with privacy concerns?
A: Chipmaker doesn't have any role/control in this. Data collection and transmission w.r.t privacy concerns should be addressed by app makers/phone makers

Q4: AT&T launched 5G E (E= Evolution)- Essentially a rebadged 4G... Do you see that coming to India before full fledged 5G?
A: We need to see how telecom companies plan their 5G roll out.

What can 5G do?
5G at its full potential can download a full movie in 3.5 seconds.
5G can support more simultaneous usage so users won't feel slow speed or congestion when in crowded places

When can we expect 5G in India?
Looks like not immediately. Almost everyone in the room agreed that existing 4G feels like 3G. 5G spectrum is very expensive. Indian telecom operators are struggling with profitability after Jio waged a war and they are finding 5G spectrum price very expensive [Mint news]. The operators should win auction and get 5G spectrum, then set up other infra structure, decide on end user tariff for 5G plans and roll out- at least an year or two before these can happen.

MediaTek Wall of Fame
Several popular devices powered by MediaTek chips were displayed at the event.

What's in it for you?

  • Next time, pay attention to not just the company who is marketing your device, but also those who make technology that goes inside. Knowing them helps you make a more confident purchase decision
  • 5G is coming, but may take some time in India as telecom operators need to gear up to spend on spectrum and infra.
  • World is changing fast with advances in AI, Machine Learning and Automation. Learn to adapt, grow along-with or perish.

Overall it was a good refresh to my tech knowledge attending Mediatek technology diaries, learnt a lot interacting with Anku Jain and Anuj. My best wishes to them and looking forward to 5G and more of Mediatek solutions making their way into our lives.

2 comments:

  1. Very good info.Did not know about this company which caters to 1/3rd of the Smartphone devices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yes, since they are not in B2C space many are not aware

      Delete

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