This Thursday, Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek announced that it has launched a new processor chipset that will address the needs of smart speakers and other Voice Assistant Devices that have Google Assistant at their core. The MT8516 comes with a quad-core, 64-bit ARM Cortex-A35 MPCore operating at up to 1.3GHz, and also integrates WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.
The MT8516 is expected to power several new VADs built with Google Assistant technology, which Google released to developers as the Google Assistant SDK last month.
At the launch, MediaTek’s executive vice president and co-COO, Joe Chen, said:
“Smart home products are growing in popularity and MediaTek’s expertise is making connected devices smarter, smaller and more power efficient without sacrificing performance. Our dedicated Android support will help expand the market for voice-based intelligent devices.”
Incidentally, yesterday, Google also announced Developer Preview 4 (DP4) of Android Things, which is essentially Google’s IoT solution based on Android. Things received Voice Kit integration earlier this month on the Google Home kit built on its Raspberry Pi 3 developer board. Voice Kit allows developers to build Voice User Interface, or VUI, using cloud-based services with Google Assistant SDK or the Cloud Speed API.
At the launch of its new full-featured chipset during Google I/O yesterday, MediaTek also said that it would support Android Things pre-certified SOMs (Systems-on-Modules) based on the MT8516.
Essentially an application processing platform, the MT8516 will offer TDM and PDM input interfaces for up to 8 and 2 channels, respectively, for voice inputs and connected audio products. Memory supports a wide range of requirements for various platforms, and includes support for LPDDR2, LPDDR3, DDR3, DDR3L and DDR4.
The announcement also mentioned that new Google Assistant devices that use the MT8516 should come to market in the fourth quarter of 2017, the crucial holiday quarter.