It has been about three weeks since Acer blindsided the Chrome OS world with an all-new Arm-based Chromebook that’s powered by a previously unannounced MediaTek 1380 SoC. Up unto that point, the only high-end MediaTek SoCs we knew of were the Kompanio 1200 series and the 1300T that MediaTek explicitly stated was designed for Android tablets. The aforementioned 1380 SoC came as a surprise but we now have some official details about the powerful Arm chip directly from MediaTek.
The press release from MediaTek mostly breaks down what we already know about the new SoC. That was thanks, in part, to the release of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. The octa-core Arm SoC features four “high-performance” Cortex-A78 cores that are paired with an Arm Mali-G57 GPU that MediaTek says will support “fast and vivid visuals.” There are no details on the four small Arm cores but we’re assuming that they are the same Cortex-A55 found in the 1200T SoC.
The new SoC, designed for Chromebooks, features multi-core AI processing, AV1 hardware decoding, and has a dedicated audio digital signal processor that assists in low-powered wake-on voice commands for virtual assistants. The new SoC also offers better connectivity with support for the latest Wi-Fi 6/6E as well as Bluetooth 5. These are promising features that should help Chrome OS stay competitive against other operating systems. Unlike older Arm SoCs, the new Kompanio 1380 can also support dual 4K displays at 60Hz.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 is the first device to launch with the new Kompanio 1380 but it most certainly won’t be the last. MediaTek clearly worked closely with Google and Acer on this premier Chromebook but Chrome OS VP John Solomon made it clear that we can expect more devices like this in the future.
The Kompanio 1380 is an integral part of delivering a great experience for users whether they’re working from home, enjoying media on the go, or anything in between. We’re excited to see its versatility come to life on the Acer Chromebook Spin 513, the first product to launch with this chip.John Solomon, VP of Chrome OS at Google
MediaTek Kompanio Key Specs
- Powerful processing: Kompanio 1380 features an octa-core CPU with four high-performance Arm Cortex-A78 cores with speeds up to 3GHz for improved responsiveness. For gamers, its fivecore Arm Mali-G57 GPU supports fast and vivid visuals, while the quad-channel 2133MHzLPDDR4X ensures there is plenty of data bandwidth.
- MediaTek APU 3.0: This powerful multi-core AI processor accelerates AI-camera and AI-voiceapplications while also optimizing battery life.
- 4K60 HDR Display Support: The chip supports up to two 4K 60Hz displays, or one 4K 60Hzdisplay plus two 4K 30Hz displays, giving device makers a wide variety of resolution, performance and external connectivity choices to meet any product design aspiration.
- AV1 Hardware Decoding: The chip’s advanced decoding features mean that consumers can stream 4K movies and TV shows with the best quality settings, while also enjoying longer battery life.
- Voice Assistant Ready: Kompanio 1380 comes with a dedicated audio digital signal processor (DSP) that provides ultra-low power voice on wakeup (VoW) capabilities for a wide variety of voice assistant services.
- Ultra-fast Connectivity: The chip is ready for Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth 5 connectivity, enabling the fastest wireless data transfers.
We haven’t been able to get any official benchmarks on the new Kompanio 1380 but our hopes are high that this SoC will finally give Arm Chromebooks the edge they need to play in the more-powerful, Intel-dominated arena. With no fans and superior power management, Arm-powered Chromebooks could offer up the power that users need with all-day battery life that we all want. Stay tuned for more details on the all-new Kompanio 1380 as we await getting our hands on a retail unit for some real world testing.