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Samsung’s next Exynos SoC will have an AMD GPU

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Samsung and AMD announced in June 2019 that the two would team up to bring mobile GPUs to Samsung Exynos chips, with Samsung System LSI (the Exynos division of Samsung Electronics) licensing the Radeon GPU IP from AMD in a multi-year agreement. Yesterday, in a presentation for the Exynos 2100, Samsung gave an update on the partnership. Samsung LSI President and GM Dr. Inyup Kang announced, “We are working together with AMD, and we’ll have a next-generation mobile GPU in the next flagship product.”

So an AMD GPU is coming pretty soon, in the next “flagship product.” Cool. There have been some differing interpretations on the Internet of what “flagship product” means in this context. Does that mean the next flagship Samsung smartphone or the next flagship Exynos chip? Since Kang works at Samsung LSI, the Exynos division, we’re going to go with the interpretation that “product” means the next Exynos chipset, due out a full year from now. The other interpretation, that a new GPU would arrive sometime this year on a Galaxy Note, Fold, or whatever you want to interpret “flagship smartphone” as, would be very out of the ordinary since it would mean killing the new Exynos 2100 less than a year after launch.

Currently, Samsung doesn’t throw the full weight of the company behind its own SoC division, instead splitting the world distribution between Exynos and the Exynos divisions’ biggest SoC rival, Qualcomm. International users have yet to see what the new Exynos 2100 is like, but previously, the Exynos versions of Samsung phones have been so maligned that Samsung users started a petition begging for Qualcomm SoCs to be sold in their territory instead. For 2020’s Galaxy S20, Samsung also pulled the Exynos SoC from its home market of South Korea, opting to ship a US-made Qualcomm chip instead, a move that reportedly “humiliated” the Exynos division.

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