Smartphone hardware has become crazy powerful in the past years, sometimes comparable with lower-end or older desktops and laptops but with better energy-efficiency. Of course, there’s always room for more improvement, especially when it comes to trying to maximize processing power without sacrificing energy, heat, and size. Lately, it seems that the ball is being played in the graphics court and Samsung’s biggest gamble in that game might be coming sooner than initially expected after all.
Of course, the smartphone SoC or Systems-on-Chip has always had a component that handled graphics but it was only recently that these have become highlights in each new generation of mobile processors. Partly thanks to the rise in mobile gaming but also partly due to the increasing sophistication in mobile applications, the GPU on these chips has started to be more advertised even in less technical marketing spiels.
This is also an area where Qualcomm has traditionally remained unchallenged, especially after NVIDIA’s exit in the consumer mobile market. The chipmaker might be starting to feel the heat again, though, with Apple’s A chips and the newer ARM-based Apple Silicon for Macs. This year, Samsung and AMD will take another shot at wresting the crown from the king.
Before its Unpacked two weeks, Samsung announced its latest Exynos 2100 and intimated that its next flagship chip would have AMD graphics technology. Given its usual timetable, that meant that we’d have to wait until 2022 to see this become reality but now @Ice universe claims that it could actually happen in the second or third quarter of this year instead. Equally interesting is the revelation that this AMD-powered mobile GPU would also make its way to Samsung’s mid-range Exynos 1xxx series as well.
Presuming all goes according to schedule, this could give the Exynos an upper hand in its battle with the Snapdragon. That is, of course, presuming that AMD’s graphics expertise as applied to mobile silicon will actually be all that and surpass Qualcomm’s Adreno GPUs. That also presumes that the Exynos’ CPU performance will also be comparable to if not better than the Snapdragon Kyro cores, something that currently looks good for the Exynos 2100, at least on paper.