Nvidia and AMD have been fierce competitors in the graphics market for years. The competition has been so intense at times that market bystanders have described as nothing short of a figurative fist-fight between the green and red teams. Both companies are constantly evaluating the market, introducing new products, updating their pricing structures and chasing the never ending technological leap-frog.
There have been multiple reports in the past stating Samsung’s efforts to develop an in-house GPU for its mobile processors. The company’s Exynos chipset with a GPU developed internally was expected to be ready in time for the Galaxy Note 5, but the plan didn’t materialise. We’ve now received additional information regarding the matter.
Currently, Samsung is using ARM’s Mali series of GPUs in its Exynos chipsets. According to information that we’ve received, Samsung is in talks with both AMD and Nvidia to license their GPU technologies. As of now, Nvidia seems to have an upper hand due to its superior Pascal architecture. However, that doesn’t mean AMD could be ruled out, especially since Sony just announced its PS4 Pro gaming console with 4K gaming that uses AMD’s Polaris architecture.
Past rumors said that in 2017 we’ll see an Exynos chipset with a Mali GPU still, but employing Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA). This will let the CPU and GPU sit on the same bus and share memory and tasks, which should improve overall performance. Then, in 2018 we might see either a Samsung-developed GPU or one licensed from AMD or Nvidia if these talks pan out.
In parallel, the Korean company is slowly developing its CDMA modem tech, aiming to start testing support for that mobile network flavor in September 2017. If all goes well, then expect to see only one Galaxy S9 model in early 2018, powered by an Exynos chip – no more Snapdragon version for certain markets. With this move, Samsung will essentially ditch Qualcomm for good in the high-end mobile device space.
As with all unconfirmed rumors, don’t take any of this for granted. However, it has to be said that all of the moves described here do make a lot of sense for Samsung in its continuous strive to develop more and more parts of its Systems-on-a-Chip in-house.