Taiwanese chip maker Mediatek recently finished development on a new 3G system-on-a-chip processor designed to do the heavy lifting on Android devices. While Mediatek has begun shipping sample CPUs out to manufacturers, full-scale production won’t begin until the end of the year.
The new chip could see handsets dropping to a $100 price range, and include an integrated 3G baseband and application processor. But don’t expect them to find their way to phones in the European or US markets any time soon.
As you probably could have guessed, the new Meditek processor will see the bulk of its use in devices destined for the Chinese market, where a low price point is a definite advantage. Not to say the rest of the world doesn’t like a bargain, and several reasonably priced phones have proven Android can make an impact at a cost usually reserved for feature phones. But I’m too busy getting excited about Intel’s new Atom chips and Nvidia’s Tegra 2 to get that jazzed up over low-cost CPUs.