MediaTek launches 5G chip aimed at gaining U.S. market share

Stephen Nellis
·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: MediaTek chips are seen on a development board at the MediaTek booth during the 2015 Computex exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) - Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek Inc on Monday released a new 5G chip aimed at helping it gain market share in the United States.

Along with Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, MediaTek is one of the few suppliers of modem chips that help devices such as smart phones connect to cellular data networks. The company supplies chips to phone makers such as Xiaomi Corp and LG Electronics Inc, among others.

To date, though, MediaTek's 5G chips have been compatible with only the "sub-6" variant of 5G networks, which is the variety being widely used in countries such as China.

MediaTek's modem chip announced on Monday, called the M80, will also support what is called millimeter-wave technology, which is being used by U.S. carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon uses the name "5G Ultra Wideband" for the service. Qualcomm is currently the dominant supplier of chips to take advantage of the millimeter wave technology, with its chips used in the U.S. versions of Apple Inc's iPhone 12.

Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international corporate sales, told Reuters in an interview that MediaTek hopes to win more contracts to supply chips for U.S. models.

"It's a very different market, in terms of the operator landscape and the technology requirements, but we've been very pleased to some solid progress in our volume and market share" with handset makers such as Samsung and LG, he said.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Marguerita Choy)