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MediaTek Sets the Smart-TV Standard

April 6, 2021

Author: Aakash Jani

MediaTek, a powerhouse in the Android-TV segment, has again raised the bar by releasing the MT9638, which features Wi-Fi 6 and an AI accelerator. The accelerator can upscale HD content to 4K, and it can transform the smart TV into a voice-activated remote. The chip implements a single-core GPU, a quad-core CPU, and two integrated DDR3-memory controllers. MT9638-powered smart TVs are scheduled to arrive later this quarter. TSMC manufactures the processor in 22nm technology; MediaTek positions it above the older MT5597.

Smart TVs are common in households, either as “dumb” TVs that use dongles to add extra capabilities or as complete systems that integrate an application processor to connect to the Internet and stream content. In 2020, the smart-TV market ballooned to $176 billion, with 226 million units shipped globally, according to Grand View Research, achieving unit growth of 8%. Driving this growth is the popularity of new streaming services, including Disney Plus and HBO Max, as well as the market shift from live to on-demand viewing.

Boasting a 70% market share, MediaTek processors appear in most smart TVs worldwide. Because LG, Panasonic, and Samsung manufacture processors for their own TVs, MediaTek remains the only major merchant silicon provider for Linux- and Android-based platforms. It reuses intellectual property from its smartphone SoCs to design cohesive hardware and software for its diverse smart-TV customers.

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