Samsung's First Exynos SoC With RDNA Graphics Now Rumored For Q2 2021 Launch

Samsung Exynos
For the most part, Samsung's home brewed Exynos silicon chips have not been able to dethrone Qualcomm's ever-expanding Snapdragon lineup, but perhaps infusing AMD's Radeon DNA graphics architecture into its designs will make things more interesting. We'll see, and perhaps soon—rumor has it Samsung and AMD will show off a custom RDNA GPU this summer.

In case this partnership is new information to you, let's back up a moment. AMD and Samsung announced a multi-year collaboration in June 2019, for the latter to license the former's graphics IP. Samsung said at the time it aimed to deliver "disruptive changes in technology," which strongly suggests it is aiming for the performance crown in the mobile space.

"Our partnership with AMD will allow us to bring groundbreaking graphics products and solutions to market for tomorrow’s mobile applications," Inyup Kang, president of Samsung Electronics’ S.LSI Business, said at the time. "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."

This has the potential to be a big deal, particularly as 5G connectivity (true 5G, that is) continues to expand. 5G opens up the door for things like advanced mixed reality experiences and higher performance computing chores on the go, all of which could benefit from a custom implementation of AMD's RDNA graphics architecture.

Back to the rumor at hand...

Samsung and AMD GPU

According to Ice Universe, a well-known leaker on Twitter, Samsung has tentative plans to introduce a custom AMD GPU for mobile devices in June. As the story goes, Samsung will only detail the GPU portion of its next chipset in June, but we already know from the announced partnership that whatever Samsung has on tap, it will be part of an upcoming Exynos processor.

This event, if it takes place as tentatively scheduled, will provide a first look at the GPU specifications and technologies on tap from this partnership. It also suggests Samsung is on track to deliver its next flagship phone as scheduled.

We say this because Samsung said last month that its next flagship phone will feature a "next-generation mobile GPU" based on AMD's IP. At the time, the Galaxy S21 was technically on track to be Samsung's next flagship phone, but that has now launched, confirming Samsung was referring to something else—perhaps a Galaxy Note 21.