Samsung Exynos 2600 For Galaxy S26 Could Ditch Radeon For A Custom GPU

Angled render of a Samsung Exynos chip and NPU in a smartphone.
It was around this time a year ago when Samsung and AMD jointly announced an extension to a license agreement that would allow the former to continue injecting the latter's graphics architecture into future Exynos processors. The announcement did not make clear exactly how long the extension would last, but the latest scuttlebutt is that Samsung may be getting ready to move on from the partnership in favor of developing an in-house GPU for future Exynos chips.

The joining of forces between Samsung and AMD, which formally began in 2019, never quite lived up to the hype. When first announced, the collaboration came with the promise of "console-like" features and gameplay in a mobile chip designed for smartphones. The first fruits of this effort came by way of Samsung's "game-changing" Exynos 2200 SoC with an Xclipse 920 GPU based on AMD's RDNA 2 architecture.

Over the years, however, Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon silicon continued to be the dominant platform for smartphones, at least on Android. In fact, Snapdragon chips have remained the silicon of choice for Samsung's Galaxy phones outside of its home turf. The Galaxy S24 Ultra, for example, is powered by Qualcomm's top mobile silicon, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

According to tipster Roland Quandt (@rquandt on X/Twitter), Samsung is still on track to release its Exynos 2400 silicon with AMD-powered graphics, followed by one more run as part of the current partnership. After that, however, it's said Samsung will release a flagship SoC with its own GPU architecture, presumably signaling that another extension is not on the table.

Roland Quandt X/Twitter post on Samsung's future Exynos plans.

"Umm... so there's S5E9945 right? (Exynos 2400) And then there's S5E9955, which follows after that. Exynos 2400 has an AMD GPU. The follow-up will have AMD GPU, too, it seems. After that, in 2026, Samsung seems to aim for the release of a next-gen flagship SoC feat it's own GPU.

Here's how Samsung's current and upcoming (based on the rumor) Exynos lineup looks like...
  • Exynos 2200 (S5E9925): Xclipse 920 GPU based on RDNA 2, released in 2021
  • Exynos 2400 (S5E9945): Xclipse 940 GPU based on RDNA 3, releasing in 2024
  • Exynos 2500 (S5E9955): Xclipse 950 GPU based on RDNA 3.5 or 4), releasing in 2025
  • Exynos 2600 (???): Xclipse 960 GPU based on Samsung's in-house design, releasing in 2026
Plans can always change in a hurry, but that said, it's worth noting that in 2022 it was reported that Samsung had assembled a team of 1,000 engineers to release a Galaxy chip in 2025. This so-called "dream team" was tasked with surpassing Apple's own in-house silicon design efforts.

Looking at the near future, the expectation is that Samsung's Galaxy S25 lineup will be split between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 in most markets and the upcoming Exynos 2500 SoC with AMD graphics on board in Korea (save for the Galaxy S25 Ultra, which is expected to feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 in all markets).

If Quandt's post proves accurate, then Samsung's Galaxy S26 in 2026 will be the first handset in a post-AMD partnership to feature a GPU developed in-house at Samsung. We'd be surprised if this also meant a departure from Snapdragon silicon, though if Samsung's Exynos hardware can finally bring performance parity to the best that Qualcomm has to offer, then anything is possible.