At the 2021 Mobile World Congress, MediaTek, the largest chip design company by volume, has unveiled its Open Resource Architecture for the first time. The architecture, currently applied to MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 5G chipset, is expected to alter the 5G landscape by enabling small mobile device makers to customize their Dimensity 1200 processors.
The Open Resource Architecture is the first step taken by MediaTek toward the construction of an open 5G ecosystem. Last year, MediaTek founded the Open RF Association together with other global chipset providers and RF front end vendors, including Intel, Samsung, Broadcom and Qorvo. The industry consortium mainly aims to shorten OEM time-to-market and reduce development costs via providing interoperable hardware and software across multi-mode RF front end and chipset platforms. Product differentiation, meanwhile, is achieved through customization.
Upon the announcement of the Open Resource Architecture, MediaTek explains how it will give smartphone OEMs the ability to customize features within the Dimensity 1200 chipset, in contrast to the conventional way of providing processors with fixed features. Previously, by being able to make their own processors, only big players like Apple, Samsung and Huawei have been able to control every aspect of their products and thus achieve an seamless hardware-software integration.
With the Open Resource Architecture, MediaTek basically allows OEMs access to its in-chip resources for cameras, graphics and APUs etc. For example, OEMs can customize hybrid multiprocessing by fine-tuning a device’s performance and power-efficiency across the chipset’s processing resources like CPU, GPU and deep learning accelerators. In another example, OEMs can adjust the camera ISP to better coordinate with their camera sensors and software setups.
So far, the Open Resource Architecture is only applied to the Dimensity 1200 chipset. The chipset uses TSMC’s 6nm process and features eight cores. According to MediaTek, the first product adopting the Open Resource Architecture will be released next month.