Samsung Believes Mobile GPUs Using AMD’s RDNA Will Be Official In 2021

Aug 5, 2019
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It's not a secret that Korean tech giant Samsung has dropped the ball with its in-house Exynos processors. Before the company's Note 7 fiasco, Samsung's Exynos chips using ARM's Cortex cores dominated San Diego chip giant Qualcomm's flagship SoCs in terms of computing performance. Qualcomm, however, always had the edge with graphics performance, courtesy of the company's excellent Adreno GPUs.

On this note, Samsung and AMD announced a partnership back in June to collaborate on mobile graphics. The partnership will give Samsung access to AMD's IP for graphics and video accelerators. Now, we've got more details for this arrangement, so head on below.

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Samsung Expects Its Mobile Graphics Solution Developed In Partnership With AMD To Hit The Shelves In 2021

At its second-quarter earnings call, Samsung briefly touched on its plans for launching mobile graphics solutions using AMD's intellectual property. While the Korean tech giant designs its custom Mongoose CPU cores for the in-house Exynos SoCs, the company is still reliant on ARM's Mali GPUs for computing graphics calculations.

This will change by as soon as 2021 if statements by the company's representatives at Samsung's latest earnings call to be believed. The partnership between Samsung and AMD will also help the latter by providing it with a stable place in the mobile ecosystem - an ecosystem that US chip giant Intel has failed to capitalize on.

At the earnings call, in response to a question, an unidentified company representative commented:

"To answer your second question about our AMD partnership. As you know, AMD has been a leader, especially in the GPU area since the early days of the PC market and is one of the leaders in terms of technology. We think that with this partnership, we will be able to leverage the GPU competitiveness of AMD to enhance the performance of not only our mobile SOCs, but also in other applications.

But considering the usual time it takes to vet out IT technology, we expect that the GPU technology will start being adopted in products that will be launched two years down the road roughly."

Samsung's chips will utilize AMD's RDNA graphics macro architecture. RDNA succeeds the company's GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture that was debuted in 2012. According to AMD, RDNA improves PPC by 1.25x and power efficiency by 1.5x. Samsung's partnership with AMD will also allow the Korean company to make a big impact in the gaming smartphone market. This market is already populated with gadgets from Razer, Asus and Black Shark.

Speaking at AMD's second-quarter earnings, CEO Dr. Lisa Su commented:

"We also announced a strategic partnership in the quarter with Samsung to bring Radeon graphics to their future smartphone and mobile SoCs. The partnership showcases our strategy to engage with industry leaders across the ecosystem to drive Radeon everywhere. We now have deep partnerships across the PC, game console, cloud and mobile markets that contribute to a growing developer ecosystem and installed base for our Radeon graphics architecture."

In 2021, Samsung will have mastered the art of EUV fabrication, and combine this with its first custom graphics solution. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.

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