Samsung and AMD working on Exynos mobile chip with ray tracing

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AMD has partnered with Samsung to deliver RDNA 2 graphics technology for an Exynos mobile system-on-chip, potentially boosting GPU performance in flagship Samsung phones. The announcement was made today at Computex Taipei.

There aren’t many details about the chip or what products it will be used in, but AMD describes the chip as a “next-generation exynos SoC,” and says Samsung will provide more information later in 2021. The GPU will be AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, enabling features such as ray tracing and variable speed shading. AMD says it will make its way into “flagship mobile devices.”

“The next place you’ll find RDNA 2 is the high-performance mobile phone market,” AMD CEO Lisa Su said on stage. “AMD has been working with industry leader Samsung for several years to accelerate graphics innovation in the mobile market, and we are pleased to announce that we will be adding custom graphics IP to Samsung’s next flagship mobile SoC with ray tracing and variable shading capabilities. We are really looking forward to Samsung providing more details later this year.”

Exynos is the brand name Samsung uses for its own in-house processors. In the US and certain other markets, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy phones come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs, while the rest of the world gets Exynos chips. The Exynos models are: generally considered as slightly less performant than their Qualcomm equivalents, but it was seen as a surprise when Samsung decided to switch to the Snapdragon variant of the Galaxy S20 in its home market of South Korea.

Whether AMD’s mobile solution will provide tangible benefits over Qualcomm’s Adreno GPUs is unknown. But by ditching buzzwords like ray tracing and lending the latest RDNA 2 architecture, AMD is certainly setting high hopes for future Samsung devices.