In line with Google’s ongoing developer extravaganza, chipmaker MediaTek on Thursday took the wraps off its newest chipset and it has been designed to be compatible with Mountain View’s two prominent efforts — Google Assistant and Android Things. MediaTek now joins the likes of Qualcomm and Intel to support Google in its efforts to make smart hardware devices ubiquitous.
Called the MT8516, this 64-bit ARM-based chipset has not only been designed to support pre-certified system on modules (SOMs) on the Android things platform. But, it also enables hardware makers to build Voice Assistant Devices (VADs) and smart speakers running the uber-quirky Google Assistant. They can easily employ the Google Assistant SDK to interface the AI voice assistant into the hardware they’re designing.
Speaking on the release of its new IoT-focused chip, Joe Chen, Executive Vice President and Co-COO of MediaTek said:
Smart home products are growing in popularity and MediaTek’s expertise is making connected devices smarter, smaller and more power efficient without sacrificing performance. Our dedicated Android support will help expand the market for voice-based intelligent devices.
As for the specifications, this processing platform is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A35 MPCore processor clocked at 1.3 GHz. This has been paired with prominent connectivity options — WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. Since the MediaTek chipset has been designed for voice assistance, it brings along support for wireless radios and interfaces for TDM (up to 8 channels) and PDM inputs (2 channels) to connect the requisite input device — microphone. It also has flexible memory support to accommodate the needs of diverse manufacturers.
Further, MediaTek mentions that the chipset is highly power-efficient and has been designed specifically for cloud-supported voice assistant devices. Since the silicon manufactured by the said chipmaker is prevalent in emerging nations, one can expect hardware manufacturers to debut affordable smart speakers in these regions. Xiaomi, if you are reading this, how about you launch a Google Home-like device in India soon?