Today's smartphones are so powerful that if theoretically they could run desktop software. Over the years, phone manufacturers have been boasting about the power of graphics comparable to gaming console devices. But actually, phone graphics have never reached that level.
We may have to wait a decade for smartphones to reach the graphics level of game consoles but Samsung has taken unusual steps, teaming up with AMD to integrate Radeon graphics cards into Exynos processors.
Graphics hardware on smartphones is often more limited than laptops or some tablets. Because every component must fit nicely on a system-on-chip (SoC), this limits the ability of a heavy configuration device, especially graphics processors. Even though chip makers have made great strides in this area, Samsung's Exynos chip in general still suffers from being behind Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip when talking about graphics performance.
Although it has been working hard to improve its own chips for years, it seems that Samsung must finally admit that self-reliance is not enough. At the very least, this is Samsung's immediate intention by announcing its long-term strategic partnership with AMD to improve the company's graphics capabilities.
To date, no one knows exactly how the two sides will cooperate. Samsung's announcement is only about AMD's RDNA architecture licensing in the form of a patent (IP) graphics, indicating that Samsung will likely integrate some of RDNA's features into its Exynos chip. Of course, there is also the possibility that all this noise is actually just about Samsung protecting itself from a patent lawsuit.
This partnership also benefits AMD not only in terms of profitability. The new chip manufacturer unveiled the new RDNA graphics architecture at the Computex event last month and we can consider this as RDNA's scalability confirmation. AMD's announcement certainly has a strategic element when it comes to AMD's rival in the CPU and GPU sectors – Intel and NVIDIA are almost no longer present in the mobile segment.