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Samsung and AMD are working on an Exynos mobile chip with ray tracing

Samsung and AMD are working on an Exynos mobile chip with ray tracing


The next flagship Exynos will use RDNA 2

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

AMD is partnering with Samsung to provide RDNA 2 graphics technology for an Exynos mobile system-on-chip, potentially giving a boost to GPU performance in flagship Samsung phones. The announcement was made today at Computex Taipei.

There aren’t many details on the chip or which products it’ll be used in, but AMD describes the chip as a “next-generation Exynos SoC,” and says Samsung will provide further information later in 2021. The GPU will use AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, enabling features like ray tracing and variable rate shading. AMD says it’ll make its way to “flagship mobile devices.”

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

Exynos is the brand name that Samsung uses for its own in-house processors. In the US and certain other markets, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy phones ship with Snapdragon SoCs from Qualcomm, while the rest of the world gets Exynos chips. The Exynos models are generally regarded 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 throwing out buzzwords like ray tracing and lending its latest RDNA 2 architecture, AMD is certainly setting expectations high for future Samsung devices.