MediaTek Helio P90 is a big leap in AI power

The Helio P60 may have been MediaTek‘s most impressive chipset in a few years, delivering dedicated AI silicon in a mid-range processor. We’ve seen the P70 since then, but we’ve also received a sneak peek at the Helio P90 following a visit to the company’s HQ, and it’s looking like an exponential leap in terms of AI capabilities.

Much like the Helio P70 and P60, we see a dual-core APU returning in the Helio P90 (clocked at 624Mhz compared to the P70’s 525Mhz). But the APU is also joined by a separate, in-house AI Accelerator chip for dedicated AI tasks. All in all, the company says this setup should provide 4x better computing power and 2x better efficiency over the P60 and P70.

The chipmaker says the Helio P90 delivers 1,127 GMACS of total AI computing power compared to the P60’s 280 GMACS and the Snapdragon 710‘s 614 GMACS. The upgraded APU provides 320 GMACS, but the lion’s share of power comes from the AI Accelerator (807 GMACS). GMACs (or giga multiply accumulate operations per second) are often used to measure AI computing power, as multiply accumulate operations are a common type of operation in machine learning.

If that’s not enough, MediaTek also showed press a benchmark comparison, pitting the Helio P90 against the Kirin 980 and Snapdragon 845 in four neural network tests (Inception V3, MobileNet V1, ResNet-50, and ResNet-34). The results showed that the P90 emerged ahead in three out of the four tests, with the Kirin 980 winning the final test. But MediaTek reckons it can squeeze out 15 to 20 percent more performance with optimizations.

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