Samsung to Use AMD’s Graphics Technology in Its Smartphones, Signs a Multiyear Deal

The deal will give Samsung an edge over other Android phone makers.

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Samsung to Use AMD’s Graphics Technology in Its Smartphones, Signs a Multiyear Deal

AMD has so far stayed away from graphics chips for mobile devices

Highlights
  • AMD will license custom graphics IP to Samsung
  • The licensed IP will be based on AMD’s RDNA graphics architecture
  • The deal is limited to mobile devices

AMD will license its mobile graphics design and intellectual property (IP) to Samsung for use in its mobile devices, including smartphones, as a part of a multiyear partnership the companies announced on Monday. AMD's graphics IP should help Samsung differentiate in the immensely competitive smartphone market. The South Korean smartphone maker is likely to use the technology to boast the performance of its smartphones in graphics intensive tasks like mobile gaming. The companies have not shared any specifics at this point, but we expect to hear more information in the coming months.

According to a press release shared by the two companies, the AMD-Samsung deal is limited to mobile devices, a market segment AMD has stayed away until now. As a part of the deal, AMD will license custom graphics IP, based on recently announced RDNA graphics architecture to Samsung. RDNA graphics architecture was unveiled at Computex earlier this month and it is likely to be used on next-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

The smartphone graphics market is mostly dominated by Qualcomm and ARM, whose chip designs are used in pretty much all Android smartphones. Apple, on the other hand, currently designs its own graphics chips after breaking ties with UK-based Imagination Technologies in 2017. Samsung may be looking to go Apple's way. The South Korean company already design its own smartphone chips and modems, but it is dependent on ARM for GPUs. Samsung, however, has been said to be working on its own graphics chips since 2012.

AMD's graphics experience will give Samsung an edge over other Android smartphone makers and help it better compete with Apple. The deal will also help generate millions of dollars in revenue for AMD, which is attempting to claw its way back in the PC market.

“As we prepare for disruptive changes in technology and discover new opportunities, our partnership with AMD will allow us to bring groundbreaking graphics products and solutions to market for tomorrow's mobile applications,” said Inyup Kang, president of Samsung Electronics' S.LSI Business. “We look forward to working with AMD to accelerate innovations in mobile graphics technologies that will help take future mobile computing to the next level.”

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