At the MediaTek Executive Summit, MediaTek presented Pentonic 2000, a state-of-the-art hardware platform (SoC) for upcoming 8K Smart TVs.
The goal is to introduce the hardware capabilities needed for the evolution of Smart TV in the next 3-5 years. Unlike smartphones, people upgrade their TVs every 5-10 years (or more!), So it’s important to see how much can be drawn from the technology that comes with the TV. In a way, this is very similar to the leap introduced by next-generation consoles.
In the past, television processors were bad cousins even for mid-range smartphones. While the phones will continue to have a technological advantage (in the short term), the Pentonic 2000 could be the most advanced in its category.
“THIS IS LEADING”
First, it is built on a 7nm (nanometer) advanced semiconductor process at TSMC. It’s not as strenuous as the 4nm chip for the Dimensity 9000 smartphone, but for context, 7nm is more advanced than most PC processors on the market. In the world of television this is top notch.
There is a reason why such tiny transistors are needed: MediaTek needs to greatly increase computing power within a small physical area, so reducing transistor size and power requirements gives the desired price / performance results for the TV market. It’s all balancing, and moving to high technology is the only way for this to work.
According to MediaTek, Pentonic 2000s The CPU is 3.7X faster, and his The GPU is 4.9X faster than “mainstream 4K TVs”. It may be a little vague, but it’s also probably true because “mainstream” (= not high-end) TVs often have minimal performance characteristics.
“8X MORE PIXEL ELEMENTS FOR PROCESSING WITH POTENTIALLY MUCH COMPLEX ALGORITHMS”
The transition from 4K to 8K has already quadrupled the number of pixels, and the transition from 60Hz to 120Hz has doubled the potential needs of computers. Having 8X more pixel elements for processing with potentially much more complex algorithms is a huge increase in workload in an industry that was primarily satisfied with cheap hardware.
The Pentonic 2000 is designed to run at 8K / 120Hz with advanced AI image processing and filtering. This includes compressed video that needs to be decoded and enlarged inside the TV.
At the conference, MediaTek’s Alfred Chan (Vice President of TV BU, Smart Home Business Group) gave us a great overview of MediaTek’s vision of where Smart TVs are going.
In essence, MediaTek sees the television market entering an era in which the demands for computing will increase significantly as several factors converge.
During the pandemic, the ubiquity of video conferencing had a lasting impact on the way people worked. It is likely that even after returning to normal, the increase in productivity and workflows associated with video conferencing will remain. The company and its partners have bet that TVs will be a natural platform for this.
Handling several to a dozen simultaneous video streams, including screen sharing, requires a very different software architecture, and that’s one of the things MediaTek claims has rebuilt from the ground up.
The availability of 8K resolution will inevitably emerge, including commercial space. When you have so many pixels, just moving data becomes a significant bottleneck, and older system architectures cannot offer the necessary bandwidth.
“VERY DIFFERENT SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE”
To address this, the company says it has optimized the use of internal bandwidth while simultaneously scaling computing resources. A combination of specialized hardware and heterogeneous units is integrated to perform each task with the best possible energy efficiency.
Although there is no basic power limit on TV, superior efficiency has cost implications on chip design, manufacturing, and alternative uses / markets.
As a result, MediaTek says the Pentonic 2000 is fast enough to run AI image filtering even on real-time video games, meaning latency is at a minimum, perhaps at just one to three ms.
Finally, smart TVs need a high speed and low latency connection. WiFi-6E is given because it is the latest industry standard. However, there is ia 5G option, and while this may sound bizarre to have 5G on TV, keep in mind that some regions have better 5G than fixed internet. Second, wireless operators could compete with cable operators because 5G technology has more momentum and less regulation than wired alternatives.
Today’s most advanced television already has the ability to play games on a computer via the cloud such as NVIDIA. Expect this to become more common with other vendors.
If you want to see all the fine prints and specifications of MediaTek Pentonic 2000, see the official product page, MediaTek Pentonic 2000 infographic and MediaTek TV hub. The overall conclusion is that smart TVs will become much more exciting in the next few years. MediaTek estimates that more than 60% of today’s TVs are powered by its chips, so there is no choice but to lead.
Reported. Read more about 8k TV, MediaTek and TVs.
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