Samsung designing its own mobile GPU cores

December 3, 2014 // 12:15 p.m.

Tags: #arm #exynos #gpu #graphics-processor #hsa #lawsuit #mali #mobile #nvidia #powervr #samsung #soc #system-on-chip

Samsung is reportedly looking to launch its own graphics processing core to appear in future Exynos system-on-chip processors, with development said to be near completion and a launch date set as soon as mid-2015.

Compared to the two-horse-race of the desktop market, the mobile ecosystem is remarkably varied: while the majority of products use a variant of ARM's intellectual property, the chips themselves are designed and made by companies including Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, AllWinner, Freescale, Marvell, and more. While each has a tendency to customise the SoC to their own requirements, the list of companies producing their own GPU technology is far smaller - but is reportedly due to grow by one.

According to ZDNet Asia Samsung, which produces its own SoCs under the Exynos brand using ARM Mali or Imagination Technologies PowerVR graphics technology, is near to completion with its own GPU IP that will appear in semiconductors by the middle of next year. Details of the GPU design are limited, but the company is expected to formally announce the project at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in February next year. The design will, it is reported, use the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) to allow efficient sharing of tasks between CPU and GPU cores.

Samsung has confirmed that it is indeed working on a new GPU design, but has stated that 'the exact release date is not yet determined.' The news comes as the company is engaged in a legal battle with Nvidia, which has claimed that Samsung products featuring Qualcomm system-on-chip hardware are in breach of Nvidia's patents on graphics technologies and should be removed from sale.
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