MediaTek launches new 5G 'Dimensity 800U' SoC as shares plunge by 10%

MediaTek U800 SoC.
(Image credit: MediaTek)

Today should have been a good one for fabless semiconductor company MediaTek, as it announced its newest 5G SoC, the dual-SIM Dimensity 800U, as the latest addition in the company’s Dimensity family.  

The 7nm Dimensity 800U chipset from MediaTek is designed for multi-core high performance and leading 5G+5G Dual Sim Dual Standby (DSDS) technology, and is specifically targeted at mid-tier 5G phones.

“MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U brings cutting-edge, next-gen technology to the Dimensity SoC series."

Yenchi Lee, MediaTek.

“MediaTek has always focused on enhancing the user experience with our leading semiconductor technology, whether consumers are streaming, gaming or taking photos,” said Dr. Yenchi Lee, deputy general manager of MediaTek’s wireless communications business unit. “MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U brings cutting-edge, next-gen technology to the Dimensity SoC series, bringing MediaTek’s advanced 5G, imaging and multimedia technologies to high-performance 5G smartphones that deliver incredible 5G experiences.”

New US sanctions

But yesterday the US Commerce Department introduced fresh sanctions that restrict any foreign semiconductor company from selling chips - developed or produced using US software or technology - to Huawei, and that includes MediaTek. As a result, MediaTek’s shares took a 10% hit as investors reacted to the updated US sanctions. 

In May the US had already stopped Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) from making and supplying chips to Huawei, and MediaTek was expected to fill the void for the Chinese tech giant. But these new sanctions have now been extended to MediaTek, as the US DOC announced that it has added 38 Huawei affiliates to the US government's economic blacklist, taking the total to 152. 

However, the 7nm Dimensity 800U has an impressive list of features, supporting sub-6Ghz SA and NSA networks, whilst also supporting technologies such as 5G+5G dual SIM dual standby (DSDS), dual Voice over New Radio (VoNR), and 5G two carrier aggregation (2CC 5G-CA). The SoC also has an octa-core CPU, with a dual cluster consisting of two Arm Cortex-A76 processors and six Arm Cortex-A55 processors, and features MediaTek’s 5G UltraSave technology, which addresses issues with battery-life on 5G devices.

And with MediaTek chips already used in phones from manufacturers such as OPPO, Samsung, Vivo, and Xiaomi, the tighter restrictions on MediaTek might not be as damaging as some investors fear.

Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.