MT8788 Processor

Higher-end Android Headunuts are built with faster processing MCU systems. The MT8788 (same as P60) and also called Mediatek MTK8788, is one of those modern Octacore-based SoC processors.


The MT8788 is an octa-core processor. This means it is 8 processing cores in a single chip. Multiplying the number of cores is a cheaper way of increasing processing power than just upping the clock speed alone. 8 Cores is an Octa-Core. These octa-core processors are much more advanced than the old Quad-Core chips by a huge step.



8 ARM Cortex Cores comprised of; 4 High Speed ARM Cortex A73 at 2.0 GHz and 4 Low Power ARM Cortex A53 at 1.8 GHz in big.LITTLE configuration

Cores are the ARM cortex processing cores within the SoC. There are two pairs of 4 cores in the MT8788.

4 of the cores are high-speed ARM Cortex A73 running at a very fast 2.0GHz

The other 4 cores are the low-power ARM Cortex A53 running at a quick 1.8GHz

The two pairs of four core configuration is called ‘big.LITTLE’. The big refers to the more powerful and faster 2.0Ghz A73 cores. The LITTLE refers to the lower power, more efficient A53 Cortex Cores. Together, the cores form a high-speed and low-power design as needs arise; the MCU can engage or disengage cores as required.

MT8788 Block Diagram

MT8788 Block Diagram

ARM Cortex-A73 MPCore, ARM Cortex-A53, and the GPU ARM Mali G72 can be seen each with their respective L2 Caches linked by the AXI interconnection with the rest of the SoC.

DynamIQ manages big.LITTLE to get the best balance between power usage and processing power delivered.

Clock Speed

The clock speed also helps to boost the processing power; more Ghz means a quicker chip; multiply the cores, and things get a big boost in speed. The MT8788 can run at a maximum of 2 GHz. By contrast, the old quadcores can struggle to reach over 1.4 GHz clock speed.


The big.LITTLE is useful for mobile phones due to the on-demand ‘high speed’ and normal running low power that helps to preserve battery life. When this configuration of ARM cortex cores (A73+A53) is the same big.LITTLE configuration is found in a phone designated as the HELIO P60.

While the battery life is inconsequential for an Android Headunit, the chips are mass-produced, and many of them are used to power an Android headunit due to their favorable cost vs. the high processing speed.

One advantage of the Android headunit manufacturers utilizing processors also found in a mobile phone is the ability to make a rough comparison. Assuming the amount of RAM fitted in each is the same, and each has the same SoC, you can get a feeling of how the headunit will perform with Android because it will be the same as the phone.

P60 is a midrange phone processor that is adequate for Android phones. The MT8788 is fitted to higher-end Android headunits and is in the top quarter of the fastest Android headunits.

Android headunit processors lag behind phones by several generations.


MT8788 Graphic Processor Mali G72 Block Diagram

GPU is the Graphic Processing Unit, part of the MT8788 SoC. The GPU employed in the silicon is an ARM Mali-G72 MP3 clicked at 800MHz. The G72 MP3 is a 3-cluster, mid-range, Android-based GPU debuting in the MT8788/P60. While the G72 is described as mid-range, this is how it is viewed for phones. When used in an Android headunit, the ARM Mali-G72 MP3 is a more than capable graphics processing core.


The MT8788 is a 64-bit capable processing chip. Future-proofing for Android requires 64-bit processing as newer apps will benefit from 64-bit chip support by giving a performance boost.


The MTK8788 (P60) is a modern processor, and expect to find a useful 8 GB RAM installed. RAM will generally make the Android experience more fluid and responsive. More APP can be cached in RAM, leading to a snappier response to the headunit.


Typically, 64 GB or 128 GB are available to the MT8788 SoC

Android 12

Modern MTK8788-based headunits will typically be based on Android 12, or at least closer to Android 12 than the quadcores that are based on Android 6 or Android 8.1go Being a newer chip; the MT8788/P60 will be suited to running a later version of Android from Android 8 (Oreo); whereas the old 4 core chips are suited to old versions of Android; 4.4 Kitkat and 6.0 Marshmallow.

MT8788 SoC board

MT8788 SoC Board

A typical MT8788 SoC Board. Note the MEDIATEK chip in the center Hynix 64 GB EMC Flash chip on the left. Other support chips and metal shielding surround the main processing cores. This would be fitted inside the Android headunit to run the Android system.

Android guy who loves his android head units as much as he loves his cherry pie.

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