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Back in 2019, AMD and Samsung announced a joint partnership to bring Radeon graphics to Exynos hardware. At the time, AMD announced that the GPU would be based on its then-new RDNA architecture and that Samsung would pay associated technology license fees and royalties to AMD.
Earlier this year the two companies affirmed their relationship, in a move that was rumored to foreshadow a device announcement later this year. Now, sources speaking to Korean Economic Daily have claimed the Exynos 2200 will launch later this year as a premium device that can be used in laptops or smartphones. “The new Exynos will offer improved functions, including extraordinary computing power and battery efficiency, by utilizing a 5-nanometer processing technology. It’s good for both laptops and smartphones,” an industry source told the paper.
Samsung will supposedly show the GPU in June. Earlier rumors predict an unveil for three chips, with the 1200 series and the 2200 series both offering an RDNA-based solution. Details on the SoC are said to be arriving later, with a laptop design in Q3 2021.
A 20 percent gap between smartphone and laptop performance isn’t very much, but we can make some educated guesses about the Exynos 2200 based on what we know about the Exynos 2100. The Exynos 2100 offers a single Cortex-X1 CPU at 2.91GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores at up to 2.81GHz, and four Cortex A55 little cores at 2.2GHz.
Benchmark data suggests that the Exynos 2100 is a hot-running SoC with a maximum power consumption of 8W and a demonstrated problem with throttling, even when tested in a freezer. Evaluated in this context, a laptop form factor might be the kindest thing that could happen to the SoC. The Exynos 2200 could be a clock-tweaked Exynos 2100, or it might offer larger caches and a cluster of X1 cores to replace the hybrid X1/A78 architecture.
As for why Samsung opted to work with AMD in the first place, a glance at graphics benchmarks shows the iPhone rather pummeling Android devices.
The Exynos 2100’s sustained GPU performance is 56.6 percent of the iPhone 12 Pro. The Snapdragon 888 does better, but only manages 70 percent. Apple has had an enduring graphics performance advantage over Android flagship devices for years, and AMD is one of only a handful of companies capable of designing a high-performance GPU core. AMD’s last foray into mobile graphics yielded Imageon, which eventually became Qualcomm’s Adreno. Samsung is evidently hoping lightning can strike twice. A strong new GPU core will definitely draw eyeballs, even if CPU performance is a bit lacking. Thus far, no Windows on ARM vendor has demonstrated a core anywhere near as powerful as what Apple is shipping in the M1.
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