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Business | September 21, 2012

MediaTek reference chip brings momentum

According to DRAMeXchange, MediaTek’s recent duo core MT6577 chipsets are being incorporated with eMCP (eMMC + Multi Chip Package) function as a part of its standard memory chip design.
The chip output volume is expected to increase following the leads of major DRAM manufacturers such as Samsung and SK Hynix. Although the short term market supply-demand situation is still being observed, with regards to the long term, eMCP prices are likely to become more competitive relative to prices of MCP.

According to TrendForce research manager Avril Wu, given that MediaTek is one of the market’s leading smartphone chip providers, and considering the coming 2H12 shipping peak season, the total smartphone chips shipments for the second half of the year is forecasted to be approximately 50 million units.

Because of this, it is expected that reference chip design changes will bring momentum to eMCP market demand. As the eMCP products from Samsung and SK Hynix have become a part of MediaTek’s approved vender list, more and more venders will continue to push for eMCP production, suggesting that competition within the eMCP market will grow fiercer next year.

In 2H13, the proportion of eMCP relative to general mobile memory chips is likely to grow by around 30%. Suppliers that can successfully utilize capacity and technology to integrate mobile and flash based memory chips will receive the greatest benefit.

Unlike MCP, eMCP incorporates a controller which enables it to manage larger capacity flash memory more effectively and lessens the loading of the SoC. With regards to the design, on the other hand, using eMCP helps save a lot of hardware space, allowing smartphones to be thinner and casings to be enclosed more properly. Performance-wise, whereas MCP uses LPDDR1, eMCP can use either LPDDR1 or LPDDR2, which increases its processing speed by about 100%.

Although eMCP--priced at around $15 USD-- trumps MCP in terms of performance, the former chip’s cost is about $3 USD higher than the cost of MCP with the Micro SD card. TrendForce believes that with the 3Q12 arrival of MediaTek’s new chips, other manufacturers are set to begin increasing their eMCP production capacity. For the long term, it is not unlikely that eMCP will become more price-competitive, and may as a result replace MCP as the mainstream product in the chip market.

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