Today, MediaTek announced the MT5595 SoC at CES, which is targeted at 4k TVs that support Android TV. MediaTek's announcement states that Sony will be the first TV company to use the chip in its Android TVs. This will allow Sony's TVs to stream shows from the Google Play Store or from other media apps, as well as install and play games.
"We are very proud to stand alongside Sony in introducing the new Android TV device. The experience of Sony's Android TV will set the standard for future smart televisions. This is a momentous occasion for MediaTek to be changing the way people watch TV with our strong partner, Sony," said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek.
Sony has partnered before with Google to use Google TV software for its own smart TVs, but unfortunately for both companies, Google TV didn't see too much adoption. There were many things that went wrong with Google TV from the clunky interface to having to use a full keyboard to control it, to high cost of the equipment that was needed to run Google TV.
Since then, Android TV has evolved greatly in how easy it is to use, and Google has also added voice search to it. You now don't need a full keyboard to search for a movie.
The chips and other components needed to run smart TV software have gone down in price as well. Now, Sony is partnering with MediaTek to provide the company the chips it needs to support not just Google TV, but 4k content at 60 frames per second. MediaTek's chips are usually more affordable than the competition's chips at the same performance level, so that's another advantage for Sony.
"We are delighted to announce the new Sony Android TV at CES. Sony is committed to providing users with the best TV experience, featuring the best picture quality and rich features that are easy to use," said Masashi Imamura, President of Sony Visual Products Inc. "MediaTek has a long heritage in cross-platform synergy and is well-poised to help us drive innovation in the home entertainment industry. Utilizing MediaTek's cutting-edge TV SoC, this partnership will allow both companies to spearhead the next level of television experience to the market."
The MT5595 is not the highest-end chip we'll find this year in smartphones or tablets, as those will finally move to the ARMv8 architecture using chips such as Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 in big.LITTLE configuration, but it should be powerful enough to run the interface of the Lollipop-based Android TV software.
The chip also has a big.LITTLE design, four cores, of which two are Cortex A7 and two are Cortex A17, which is a new core designed by ARM and intended to replace the aging Cortex A15. The Cortex A17 should be ~15 percent faster than Cortex A15 at the same clock speed, while also consuming less power.
Sony's Android TV based on the MT5595 SoC will be unveiled at CES.