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MediaTek debuts new wearables chip that can provide up to a week of battery life

By Koh Wanzi - on 5 Jan 2016, 6:01pm

MediaTek debuts new wearables chip that can provide up to a week of battery life

 MediaTek MT2523

Wearables may not have quite taken off, but that hasn’t stopped companies from trying to make them better. MediaTek has announced a new chip designed for fitness smartwatches, reportedly the world’s first system-in-package to offer GPS, dual-mode Bluetooth Low Energy, and a MIPI-supported high-resolution mobile screen.

The compact MT2523 chip utilizes an ARM Cortex M4 processor, and its support for Bluetooth Low Energy is crucial for battery savings on fitness bands and other wearables. MediaTek says that the new SiP’s PCB is 41% smaller than competing solutions, and that devices powered by the MT2523 can last over a week on a single battery charge.

The entire MT2523 product family is based around a highly integrated SiP that includes a micro controller unit (MCU), dual-mode Bluetooth, GPS, and a power management unit (PMU). The presence of the MCU will supposedly enable the design of wearables with lower power consumption and smaller form factors than current Android Wear devices.

Most of the latest smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S2 can go only a day or two before you need to charge them up again, so MediaTek’s new chip could go a long way toward creating more power efficient wearables that last longer. Still, the MT2523 is no processing powerhouse, so the improved battery life it is claiming does come with certain performance trade-offs. 

Nevertheless, manufacturers may find use for it in mid-range smartwatches and fitness bands (just don't expect any flagships to use it). The MT2523 will be available to manufactures in the first half of 2016.