MediaTek to make more chips for popular Chromebook

11, Sep. 2020


TAIPEI, NNA— MediaTek Inc. is being kept busy with producing chips for Chromebook after it enjoyed a sharp rise in demand following the shift of learning at schools and working in offices to homes.

The chip designer, which is an Acer supplier, also plans to release advanced processors to boost its Chromebook.

Lockdowns and social distancing measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in past months have seen home-based education and work relying on the use of Chromebook even more.

MediaTek is expecting production of processors for Chromebook to multiply rapidly after agreeing to form business alliances with computer company Acer Inc., electronics manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc, and tech giant Google to cater to the unexpected portable computer boom brought about by unprecedented social distancing.

Acer will be using more MediaTek chips for its Chromebook as it is committed to a stable supply, said Jason Chen, Acer chairman and CEO.

Acer, MediaTek and Quanta Computer launched a joint project on the digital transformation of education in Taiwan schools on Wednesday. Their collaboration will see them donating about 500 Chromebooks to schools.

“Chromebook will be the major growth momentum for Mediatek,” corporate senior vice president Jerry Yu of MediaTek told reporters at a press conference held to announce the supply chain partnership on Wednesday, according to a Taiwan-based United Daily News report.

MediaTek is scheduled to release an advanced processor model MT8192 designed for Chromebook by the end of 2020.

In the first half of 2021, it plans to roll out the MT8195 premium processor, which would be based on the 6-nanometer technology of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., said Yu.

Meanwhile, Chromebook production in 2020 is projected to hit 24.3 million units, a 42.4 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report by research facility Trendforce Corp., which released it on Thursday.

Supply has remained tight, especially for education models, said Chen. Acer has been monitoring the situation and checking deliveries from manufacturing partners, such as Quanta Computer.

“The demand is expected to propel into next year as there’s still a huge gap to fill,” said Chen at the Wednesday press conference,

Quanta founder and chairman Barry Lam, who also spoke at the event, said, “Chromebook is one of the best products I’ve made over the past three decades as it fulfills all remote services including education.”

Meanwhile, MediaTek had already reported consolidated net sales of NT$32.7 billion ($1.11 billion) in August, which represented a huge 41.9 percent increase from the same month last year. It also showed a 22.6 percent growth from the preceding month.

Its forecast of consolidated revenue in the third quarter is between NT$82.5 billion and NT$87.9 billion, way above the NT$67.6 billion made in the quarter ending in June.