AMD headquarters in California

Samsung to build mobile GPUs based on AMD's Radeon

Image credit: Dreamstime

US-based semiconductor giant AMD will be partnering with Samsung to develop ultra-low power, high-performance mobile graphics products.

The multi-year partnership will result in the development of graphics products based on Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) Radeon graphics technologies. The Radeon graphics products line was first released in 2000 by graphics card manufacturer ATI Technologies (which was acquired by AMD for $5.4bn in 2006).

According to the terms of the agreement, AMD will license its new RDNA architecture to Samsung to assist the development of products across mobile applications, primarily smartphones. Samsung will pay AMD technology license fees and royalties and will integrate Radeon graphics into all future system-on-a-chip products for mobile applications.

“Adoption of our Radeon graphics technologies across the PC, game console, cloud and HPC markets has grown significantly and we are thrilled to now partner with industry leader Samsung to accelerate graphics innovation in the mobile market,” said Dr Lisa Su, AMD President and CEO.

“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” she continued.

“As we prepare for disruptive changes in technology and discovery new opportunities, our partnership with AMD will allow us to bring groundbreaking graphics products and solutions to market for tomorrow’s mobile applications,” said Inyup Kang, president of Samsung’s S.LSI Business. “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.”

Shares in AMD rose slightly following the announcement of the partnership.

Since acquiring ADI Technologies and the Radeon brand, AMD has fought for dominance in the GPU market with its rival Nvidia. The two companies could see renewed competition from Intel, which hired Radeon chief architect Raja Koduri in 2017 and announced last year that it would start selling its own discrete GPUs by 2020.

In 2012, AMD began offering customers the option of custom graphics and computing chips based on AMD’s IP in exchange for a non-recurring design and development fee. This approach proved lucrative, thanks to semi-custom AMD graphics chips being selected for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 models. Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will include a semi-custom processor combining an AMD CPU with Radeon GPU on a single chip and Google recently chose a semi-custom AMD GPU for its upcoming Stadia cloud game-streaming service.

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