After announcing an SoC tailored for the Android TV platform, MediaTek (TPE:2454) has now launched the MT2601: an affordable chipset that is targeted at Android Wear. Device manufacturers will be able to build their own hardware and software solutions for Android Wear with the MT2601 at the core of the wearable.
The affordability of the SoC is due to the fact that it contains 41.5% fewer components than similar solutions available today. Instead of taking a mobile-based chip and retooling it — like Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has with the Snapdragon 400 — MediaTek built the MT2601 from the ground up for wearable devices.
In terms of hardware, the MT2601 has a dual-core Cortex A7 CPU and a Mali-400 MP1 GPU. The SoC can handle qHD resolutions, which is more than sufficient for a device like a smartwatch. With the Snapdragon 400, Qualcomm disabled three of the four available cores to make it more efficient on low power devices. By offering a solution with lower hardware specs (but enough to drive current-gen wearables), MediaTek’s MT2601 has the potential to significantly increase battery life of wearable devices.
MediaTek has mentioned that the MT2601 is currently being integrated into wearables right now by device manufacturers, with consumer-ready versions set to arrive over the coming months.