Google seems to be giving MediaTek a big boost in name recognition at CES this year, by partnering with the chip company to support its Google Cast streaming for audio systems on the MT8507 chip and Android TV on the new MT5595 SoC (which also includes support for Google Cast streaming, as do all Android TVs).
"MediaTek has a strong heritage and a leading position in the TV SoC business. By introducing the world's first Android TV devices, we are demonstrating a fast pace of innovation and strong commitment to the home entertainment business," said Joe Chen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek's Home Entertainment Business Unit. "MediaTek is proud to integrate Android 5.0 Lollipop software in its chipset portfolio and significantly improve consumers' engagement with their TVs."
The new Mediatek MT5595 chip is a mid-range chip that comes in a quad-core big.LITTLE configuration. The CPU is comprised of a dual-core Cortex A7 cluster and a dual-core Cortex A17 one. The Cortex A17 is a new CPU core from ARM that unfortunately sticks to the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture. It should have slightly higher performance than the old Cortex A15 core while drawing significantly less power.
Performance wise, it's also situated somewhere between the 64-bit Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 cores, although those two also get some extra features such as AES hardware acceleration (useful to speed up Lollipop's default encryption).
The MT5595 SoC comes with some features of its own, such as support for 4k2k video content that can stream at 60 fps. Although it's not the most high-end chip, it's able to stream at such high framerate and resolution thanks to the efficiency given by the VP9 and HEVC codecs, which cut the bandwidth requirements in half, compared to the older VP8 or h.264 codecs. Bandwidth requirements for 4k content are quite high, which can put stress not just on a TV's chip, but also on the Internet connection, so the support for either the VP9 or the HEVC codec is quite useful in chips that target 4k TVs.
MediaTek has already started mass production of the MT5595 TV SoC, and consumers should see Android TVs featuring this chip starting in March this year.