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Samsung is bringing AMD graphics technology to its smartphones

Samsung and AMD have made a surprise announcement today which could significantly change the graphics experience on the former’s future devices. The two companies have inked a strategic partnership in ultra low power, high performance graphics technologies. What this means in simple words is that Samsung’s future Exynos processors will integrate custom AMD Radeon graphics.

The official press release is a little light on the terms of this deal. No financial details have been disclosed and it’s not explained what the “custom graphics IP” that Samsung will be getting from AMD entails.

Future Samsung SoCs to feature custom AMD Radeon graphics

It specifically mentions AMD’s recently announced RDNA graphics architecture which would suggest that this deal isn’t just patent based. Samsung will likely be paying licensing fees and royalties to AMD for its architectural IP which the company would then integrate into its own designs.

AMD won’t be facing its traditional rival NVIDIA in this arena. ARM and PowerVR are the incumbents here. Samsung and AMD must be convinced that there’s more appeal to the latter’s IP with a particular focus on ultra low power solutions. This deal is also a major vote of confidence in AMD”s RDNA architecture which has already won over Sony for its next-generation gaming console. Being picked by the world’s top smartphone vendor is no small feat.

“This strategic partnership will extend the reach of our high-performance Radeon graphics into the mobile market, significantly expanding the Radeon user base and development ecosystem,” said AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su. Samsung will be using the licensed technology in mobile devices such as smartphones and other products.

It’s going to take some time before we see the fruits of this partnership in a Samsung device. Nevertheless, there are interesting times ahead.

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