Samsung and AMD announced a new multi-year strategic partnership between the two companies, where the former will license graphics IP from the latter for use in mobile GPUs.
The multi-year partnership will see the two develop advanced graphics technologies and solutions, according to the announcement from the companies.
The deal with Samsung isn’t technically a semi-custom strategy as Samsung will be licensing IP and making its own chips while not relying on AMD for the actual hardware.
Samsung has been working on designing its own GPU chips for seven years now and the new partnership should further enhance its efforts.
What Does AMD Get From the Deal?
On the other side, AMD is set to benefit from having its graphics technology featured in yet another industry — representing another stream of revenue for the chipmaker.
Terms specify that Samsung will be paying AMD licensing fees and royalties for its Radeon technology and AMD licensing custom graphics intellectual property based on RDNA architecture.
AMD has branched out in recent years and found success outside of the PC gaming market with its semi-custom strategy. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles feature custom AMD processors and Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud-based gaming platform is also said to be powered by AMD graphics.
High-Performance Mobile GPUs
The graphics systems to be developed by Samsung are set to be high-performance, ultra-low power, and aimed at mobile devices. As a result, we could potentially see more affordable devices with powerful graphics capabilities or premium flagships that manage to run more intensive and demanding games and simulations without overheating or crippling battery life.
Samsung will also integrate AMD Radeon graphics into all of its future system-on-a-chip offerings for mobile applications.
Another industry where high-performance GPUs can be used is cryptocurrency mining.
While mobile mining is not really a thing right now, the development of low power consuming GPUs could spur experimentation from mining enthusiasts. The mining industry is centered on efficiency and, while smartphone mining might not impact established networks, it can be useful on fringe networks and become a testing ground for beginners.
Having a smartphone capable of mining could also allow for new networks to be developed that are exclusively mined on mobile devices. A mobile-only network could gain traction, considering the fact that many more around the world have access to a smartphone rather than a laptop or desktop with efficient processing power.