Samsung reportedly in GPU talks with AMD, Nvidia

September 12, 2016 // 12:21 p.m.

Tags: #amd #arm #exynos #geforce #imagination-technologies #mali #nvidia #powervr #samsung #soc #system-on-chip #tegra

Samsung is reportedly shopping around for a new graphics processing unit (GPU) provider for its homebrew Exynos processors, after years of switching between ARM's Mali and Imagination's PowerVR IP.

Samsung, as with all ARM licensees, designs and manufactures its own system-on-chip (SoC) processors based on intellectual property from freshly-acquired SoftBank subsidiary ARM. In the history of Samsung's Exynos SoC, the company has used but two primary IP providers: ARM for the CPU, and ARM or Imagination for the GPU. Its most recent design, the Exynos 8, features ARM's Cortex-A53 CPU cores and Mali-T880 GPU cores - but a report citing anonymous sources suggests that its successor may be a very different beast.

According to Samsung watcher SamMobile, the company is in talks with AMD and Nvidia over licensing graphics IP to add into future Exynos processors. The latter would appear to have an advantage, having already built ARM-based SoCs with GeForce graphics cores under its Tegra brand; the former, though, has been shipping low-power accelerated processing units (APUs) for years and has recently begun adding ARM technology into the mix.

Samsung, as is usual for the company, has neither confirmed nor denied the report, which does not cite its source. Its next-generation Exynos design is expected to launch in 2017, and may mark the first time the company has gone entirely in-house for its SoCs rather than splitting models between its own Exynos and Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips.
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