As of the second quarter of this year, MediaTek has managed to keep its top spot in the mobile application processor (AP) market. Its continued success can be credited to its strategy of targeting affordable 5G phones and flooding the market with innumerable chipsets. Smartphones, however, are no longer the only hot consumer electronics these days as Chromebook sales continue to surge. Expanding its portfolio to capture that lucrative market, MediaTek is doing what it does best and is giving the Chromebook market a new 5G processor to address other tiers in that market.
MediaTek’s Kompanio line is relatively new, so there aren’t as many of them compared to the chipmaker’s Helio and Dimensity lines. It was actually just two months ago when the company unveiled its top-of-the-line Kompanion 1300T, aimed at premium Android tablets. This time, it’s going back to its roots and is launching a new system-on-chip (SoC) for both Chrome OS laptops as well as tablets.
The MediaTek Kompanio 900T takes after the Kompanio 1200 and 1300T but takes things down a notch. Instead of eight cores, it uses two performance Cortex-A78 cores and four efficient Cortex-A55 cores. The GPU also gets a downgrade in comparison with a Mali-G68 M4 that’s at least still capable of driving a 2K 2000×1200 display at 120Hz. One notable upgrade is that it supports LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage that the higher-end chips don’t.
What sets the Kompanio 900T apart from previous mid-range chipsets is its support for 5G networks. Mind, it’s still sub-6GHz 5G, so MediaTek customers are probably still waiting for a Kompanio chip with mmWave 5G support. That said, a 5G Chromebook is still a rare beast, especially if it comes with an accessible price tag.
MediaTek says that Chromebooks and tablets running on this new Kompanio 900T will be available soon but doesn’t give any timeline for it. The windows of opportunity, however, could be closing fast as Chromebook demand and sales are expected to slow down and taper off soon.