AMD’s GPUs are pretty popular if you are planning on building a computer, but it looks like the company will be expanding its mobile presence by announcing that they will be licensing out their GPU tech to Samsung. What this means is that in the future, there is a good chance that Samsung could be integrating AMD’s GPUs tech into their smartphones.
Prior to this, Samsung has been using ARM’s Mali graphics in its Exynos chipsets, which means that this licensing deal with AMD will be a blow to ARM, who themselves have recently announced a new Mali GPU architecture. As Forbes notes, it is unclear if Samsung’s decision to go with AMD was due to their disappointment with the new Mali architecture, or if they are hoping that by teaming up with AMD, it will help set them apart from other companies.
It should be noted that this is not AMD’s first foray into the mobile GPU scene. Previously, the company had its own mobile GPU division called Imageon which they sold off to Qualcomm back in 2009. This resulted in Qualcomm’s Adreno graphics which are found in the company’s Snapdragon chipsets.
“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. 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.”
AMD’s competitor, NVIDIA, had also previously attempted to break into the mobile scene with its Tegra chipsets. This resulted in several tablets and smartphones, but it never quite took, even after licensing it out for use in other gadgets, like the OUYA Android gaming console. Perhaps AMD could fare better. It’s probably too early to tell how this will affect Samsung’s phones in terms of performance, so we’ll have to wait and see.