Samsung’s New Radeon-Powered Exynos Looks Like It Packs a Punch

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Samsung is currently expected to announce its upcoming Exynos SOC with an AMD-designed GPU at some point next month. Benchmarks that have leaked out ahead of the launch suggest that the company’s new mobile GPU could be much faster than anything the Korean manufacturer has previously fielded.

This leak is from Twitter user Ice Universe, who claims Samsung has been testing the GPU paired with a Cortex-A77 CPU and that this result is from one such device. If this is true, it means the chip in question isn’t technically an Exynos 2200. 3DMark applications are typically designed to isolate GPU performance, so the CPU shift shouldn’t make too much of a difference. These results suggest the chip AMD built for Samsung offers much better performance than anything else shipping in an Android device today.

The tweet reports a score of 8134 for the new Samsung GPU. WCCFTech reports that this is substantially faster than the Exynos 2100 (5295) or Snapdragon 888 (5382). If retail chips score this well, the upcoming Exynos 2200 could outperform even the iPhone 12 from Apple. The various flavors of iPhone 12 score between 7400 and 7600, though even the 2020 iPhone SE is capable of a 6983.

These performance figures are excellent. If they hold up on shipping devices and prove indicative of overall performance, it’ll mean Samsung nailed its goal of delivering a substantial GPU performance uplift by investing in a custom GPU architecture. The only caveat to consider along with your standard ration of salt is the fact that we know nothing about power consumption, whether this represents sustained performance over time, and how representative Wild Life performance is of the GPU architecture as a whole.

Mobile device performance can vary substantially depending on the cooling solution being used to test the SoC. An early test chip paired with a Cortex-A77 could easily underperform the final product. It’s also possible that these tests are being run on parts exposed to open air rather than stuffed inside a chassis, or that the OEM test platform is allowed to draw far more power than a shipping device will. Sustained performance or shipping performance could be different from what we see here today.

On the whole, however, these figures look good. A good showing in this space would be a boost for both Samsung and AMD. Samsung would match or surpass the iPhone family, at least until Apple’s next-generation products. AMD would have a win under its belt in the semi-custom, low-power GPU space. A successful launch next month could be a prelude to future embedded chips or maybe even mobile SoCs with a lower-power, higher-efficiency GPU core than anything AMD ships today.

AMD has been close-mouthed about the GPU’s microarchitecture, referring to it as “custom graphics IP,” but also as RDNA2. It could represent the first iteration of RDNA3 or it might be RDNA2-based, with custom IP work related to lowering power consumption or improving power efficiency.

AMD, to be clear, has not said anything about future products that might utilize this IP and we don’t have reason to suspect any near-term announcements, but both AMD and Intel are always on the lookout for ways to reduce power consumption. It’s not hard to imagine AMD developing a new low-power graphics core in partnership with Samsung while making long-term plans to take advantage of the work as a way to improve APU efficiency in the embedded or mobile markets.

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