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MediaTek's latest Dimensity chip supports WiFi 7 and ray tracing

MediaTek

MediaTek is still frequently associated with budget Android phones, but it's increasingly making its way into flagships — and its latest system-on-chip might help on that front. The company has introduced a Dimensity 9200 chip that, among other claims, is billed as the first SoC to be ready for WiFi 7. You'll need a phone with a compatible network chipset and a WiFi router to match, but this theoretically delivers speeds of up to 6.5Gbps on-device while improving reliability and reducing lag.

The Dimensity 9200 is also said to be the first mobile chip to use an ARMv9 Gen 2 architecture, and uses new cores to match. A "big" Cortex-X3 core handles the most demanding tasks with the help of three Cortex-A715 performance cores. Four Cortex-A510 low-power cores help with battery life. The combo delivers a modest 10 to 12 percent boost over the Dimensity 9000 in synthetic tests, but reportedly cuts power consumption by as much as 25 percent.

The largest speedups come with graphics. The Dimensity 9200 is one of the first chips to use ARM's new Immortalis-G715 GPU, bringing hardware ray tracing, three times the triangle throughput and greater efficiency. It's up to 32 percent faster than the GPU in the Dimensity 9000 while using 41 percent less power, MediaTek says.

Other improvements are subtler, but still useful. Unlike many MediaTek chips, the 9200 supports both sub-6GHz and millimeter wave 5G to provide fast cellular data in more parts of the world. The Imagiq 890 image signal processor is the first to support RGBW camera sensors, promising more brightness and detail in photos than plain RGB. It can counteract motion blur, too. You can also expect support for fast UFS 4.0 storage, the latest LPDDR5X memory (8.5Gbps) and 24-bit/192KHz audio.

The first phones using the Dimensity 9200 should be available by the end of 2022. This won't necessarily make Qualcomm sweat, especially with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 likely on the horizon. However, this could put MediaTek into more high-end phones — and that's good for both choice and competition.