Shy of the 5G era, MediaTek is taking another step with its midrange silicon. Where it once brought a solid medium gear to phones that desperately needed it, the Taiwanese chipmaker has iterated on the Helio P series with more advanced features such as AI capacity for simpler tasks.

But with the new Helio P90, the evolution really shows. It uses more modern ARM core designs than most other MediaTek products with Cortex-A75 units paired with A55s, all on a 12nm die. The GPU also gets a 50 percent performance upgrade.

The most talk was dedicated to the new architecture for its AI processor unit, Fusion AI. It’s touted to bring at least triple the computations that a Helio P60 or P70 can do in a second at just half the energy consumption. Developers can use toolkits like TensorFlow, Caffe, the Google Android Neural Networks API or MediaTek’s own NeuroPilot SDK to create AI applications for their devices.

In producing media, the P90 is taking more pains with AI to let its Image Signal Processor push out 14-bit RAW and 10-bit YUV product by detecting faces and concentrating more processing on them for bandwidth-limited applications like streaming. AI also drives noise reduction improvements for quicker photo captures in low light. And, towards the more common tasks, the P90 supports face unlock and voice assistant features.

MediaTek will launch the P90 from December 13 with a focus on China, India and greater Asia.

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