Qualcomm, Mediatek, SoCs. What are these?

You’ve probably seen in several ads on newspapers and websites such as Flipkart, Amazon etc. where they state that “device X is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon *blank* or it is powered by the Mediatek Helio *blank*” and have always wondered, what are these? Should I be concerned?

Well, to answer that puzzling question is the reason for this particular post!

Right off the bat, let me now enlighten you on something that is probably already going through your mind or will by the end of this post and that is, which one is better? Qualcomm or Mediatek?

The very short and straightforward answer to that is it entirely varies on your phone usage habits as well as your budget. I’ll discuss which one to pick when phone shopping in a future post sometime!

Now, without digressing any further than need be, let us begin with this piece!

Qualcomm and Mediatek are companies founded in 1985 and 1997 respectively, involved in the manufacturing the chipsets which power 99% of all smartphones today. If we look at the history of both these companies, Qualcomm started off as a Telecommunications hardware company whereas Mediatek started off as a DVD, Bluray etc. wireless company. Both have over time, evolved their business model to cater to the changing needs of society to the point  where they make Chipsets for nearly all modern phones.

Now, coming to the next part of this question, what is an SoC?

Well, basically, a SoC is a “System on a Chip“.  It is called a SoC because, each SoC contains a core CPU (Central Processing Unit i.e. The heart of the Chip), a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit i.e. The Graphics Card), a modem along with several other teeny tiny bits, all crammed into a neat little package powerful enough to run all modern mobile platforms in breeze.

Qualcomm and Mediatek are manufacturers of these SoCs with Qualcomm calling its brand the “Snapdragon” SoC lineup and Mediatek calling its, the “Helio” SoC lineup. Both these companies are the most common SoC names amongst several others such as Intel with it’s Atom SoC lineup (The most prominent device being the Asus Zenfone 2), Samsung with its Exynos SoC lineup (All versions of the S-Series and Note series have these processors), Huawei with its Kirin SoC lineup etc. amongst several others.

And that about sums it up!

Hope you enjoyed reading this small piece! More to come, real soon! Please leave your comments, feedback and post requests down below and I’ll be sure to answer them asap!

Featured image credit: Electronicsb2b.com

4 thoughts on “Qualcomm, Mediatek, SoCs. What are these?

  1. I was wondering that this post might be the comparison between Qualcom and Mediatek. However found some info which might be helpimg me next time but if possible create more differences or you can simply create a comparisom between their respective chipsets!


  2. I don’t think anyone could have explained this better. Great work Vivek. I’m sure now a lot of people are going to be able to understand these things and make informed choices depending on their needs. I look forward to your next update. Good luck!


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