Thursday, May 9, 2013

English: Mediatek MT1389DE, a chipset for DVD player. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you read this post of mine from a few days ago,

you'd be familiar with my affinity towards the little taiwanese chipmaker that could, Mediatek. At the end of that post i stated about how I was looking forward for new devices coming out with Mediatek's quad core MT 6589 System on Chip (SoC)
It turned out that I didn't have to wait too long to see a worldwide launch of a quad core Mediatek powered device, as Acer launched their A1 device at NYC just mere days after I wrote my initial post.
Most of the hands on reviews on the web stated at how the Acer A1 was a nice device, with decent performance for it's price tag. What they did not convey was one interesting fact about the chip that powers the A1. I'll tell you about  the MT8589's dirty little secret:
As this article from Gizchina stated, the MT8589, comes in 3 disguises, namely the quad core 8589M which is the entry level model offering support for up to qHD displays, the standard 8589 with its quad core A7 chips running at 1.2 GHZ and the 8589T  with four cores running at 1.5 GHZ.
Since the Acer A1 has a  1,024 x 768 display (which happens to be identical to the one found on the iPad Mini which happens to be the same resolution as the iPad 2) and a 1.2 GHZ quad core chip,  we can assume  that the Acer A1 has the standard 8589. Here's the interesting bit:
The MT8589 is powered by PowerVR's SGX 544 GPU clocked at 286MHZ!
Why is that so interesting? Well, if you remember, the Apple A5 found on the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3rd generation have SGX 543 GPU, clocked at 250MHZ. So right off the bat , we can say that the MT 8589 has a more powerful GPU than the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5. Furthermore , the 8589T will have its GPU clocked even higher at 357 MHz, meaning it will have even more graphical power.
Considering the low-ish screen resolution of the Acer A1, the affordable little tablet should be quite a strong performer.
What's more interesting is the fact that, as we speak, the quad core MT 8589 is making its way to a multitude of affordable devices coming from China. With cheap, sub $250 devices running quad core SoCs with SGX 544 GPUs, life is surely looking even better for affordable Android devices.