Samsung and AMD announced a partnership last year that was unsurprisingly filled with generic “forward-looking” statements and nothing to show for. It was pretty much presumed that Samsung would be licensing AMD’s Radeon graphics technology for use in its own Exynos chips. That hasn’t born fruit yet but the wait might worth it if these early benchmark figures for the unnamed chip will be the performance will see on new Samsung flagships next year.
As powerful as ARM chips have become today, they still lag considerably behind their desktop counterparts when it comes to graphics performance. ARM’s “vanilla” Mali GPU and Qualcomm’s custom Adreno are practically the only choices smartphone manufacturers have. They actually have even less choice because these GPUs are attached to the CPUs that come with the entire System-on-Chip or SoC.
A third choice might be coming but only for those who will invest in Samsung’s Exynos processors. Considering NVIDIA’s Tegra is pretty much out of the picture anyway, AMD’s Radeon IP dangles the promise of a well-known desktop graphics technology but custom-made for mobile devices. Based on SamMobile’s report, there might be something to that promise, too.
A GFXBench listing for the AMD RDNA architecture that will be used on future Samsung Exynos chips surpasses the current Qualcomm Adreno 650 in many of the synthetic benchmark tests. This Adreno GPU is the one used in the Snapdragon 865 which is already ahead of the race (except against Apple’s A13).
This definitely bodes well for Samsung whose Exynos chips have been lagging behind and have even become the center of some controversy. Samsung may introduce the AMD GPUs in an Exynos 1000 next year that may also be the industry’s first 5nm process chip.