AMD Radeon Graphics Going Into Mobile Mediatek SOCs

Khalid Moammer
Posted Mar 10, 2015
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AMD will reportedly license its Radeon graphics IP to Mediatek, one of the largest players in the mobile space. Both companies have been collaborating on a mobile SOC graphics solution which will incorporate an AMD Radeon graphics architecture. According to Fudzilla’s report this was revealed at the Mobile World Congress just a few days ago.
AMD Radeon R9 380X
It’s worthy of note that both companies are part of the Heterogeneous System Architecture / HSA foundation.  So they’ve worked together before and what they’re working together on will undoubtedly be an HSA enabled graphics solution for mobile SOCs. The HSA distinction is very important here. Especially since we’re talking about ultra low power mobile SOCs, where fractions of a watt can make a considerable difference.

AMD And Mediatek Collaborating On New SOC Graphics Solution

HSA is crucial because it opens a plethora of power saving avenues, after all HSA was put in place to significantly improve both performance and efficiency. It does so by using the graphics and CPU resources opportunistically and simultaneously so that each processor can can handle the workload that suits it best. This simple concept can lead to extraordinary leaps in performance and efficiency.  I’ve covered heterogeneous computing in detail in a previous editorial in which I outlined the single direction that Intel, AMD and Nvidia are all heading towards.

HSA is also important because it’s a competitive advantage that other players in the field have yet to catch up on. AMD’s GCN ‘Graphics Core Next’ is currently the only graphics architecture in the industry which is fully HSA 1.0 compliant. Something Qualcomm has yet to achieve and Nvidia can’t explore because it isn’t a member of the HSA foundation.

AMD’s not new to the ultra-low power space. After all Qualcomm’s extremely successful Adreno line of graphics solutions is based on the AMD design that they acquired from the company back in 2008.  AMD has also already introduced GCN powered Mullin SOCs with SDPs going down to as low as 2.8W, so it’s a space they’ve tackled before. The company also revealed that it has managed to achieve the biggest power efficiency leap ever for mainstream APUs with Carrizo. What’s more interesting is that they’ve accomplished that through clever design and a set of new power efficiency features without the help of a new manufacturing process.

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This recent development and collaboration with Mediatek bodes well for the potential power efficiency leap we may see with AMD’s future graphics offerings. because what really drove Nvidia’s significant efficiency strides in recent years was its need to compete in the mobile space. So the ultra low power mobile segment will undoubtedly serve a similar role as a power efficiency catalyst for AMD.

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