Samsung’s next flagship smartphone will feature premium AMD graphics

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Samsung will soon unveil three new handsets if recent rumors are to be believed. There may not be a new Galaxy Note 21 in stores this year, but Samsung is offering three different devices to tempt buyers, including two foldable handsets and a traditional smartphone. These are the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, and Galaxy S21 FE, which could be announced in August. The new Fold version is the most exciting model of the three, the kind of device that has what it takes to replace the Note series.

The new foldable handset has a tablet-sized screen and a stylus holder – and the screen size and S Pen stylus were the Note’s signature features. The Fold 3 will also feature better build quality than its predecessors, including sturdier glass and even some sort of dust and water resistance. The new Fold would also feature one of Samsung’s long-awaited innovations, a brand new chip unlike anything in a Galaxy phone to date.

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Samsung teamed up with AMD a few years ago to create a brand new graphics processing unit for smartphones. Leaks said not too long ago that the Fold 3 may be the first Samsung device to have an RDNA-based GPU built into a custom Exynos System on Chip (SoC).

Not too long ago, a report said Samsung was “going into the laptop processor market” with a custom Exynos chip. This move is not unexpected, given that Apple did the same last year, releasing the M-series processors for Macs that sent Intel into panic mode. This report stated that the premium Exynos chip would be used in laptops and smartphones and that it would use an AMD GPU.

That brings us to AMD’s Computex 2021 announcements which fell late on Monday. The chipmaker showcased the new RDNA 2-based mobile graphics, which resemble the GPUs we’ve come to expect from this custom Samsung Exynos chip – according to the press release:

AMD Radeon RX 6000M Series mobile graphics cards are built on the revolutionary AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture, delivering up to 1.5x better performance or up to 43% lower power at the same level of performance compared to AMD RDNA architecture. They also bring advanced technologies like AMD Infinity Cache and DirectX Raytracing (DXR) to next-generation laptops.

There is no mention of Samsung or the Exynos SoC in the announcement, and AMD does not mention smartphones at any time in the press release. RDNA 2 graphics also power the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S launched last year.

But the slide above appeared during AMD’s presentation at the show, which explicitly mentions the Samsung Exynos chips. AMD RDNA 2 GPUs are coming to phones, according to the company.

“The next place you find RDNA 2 will be in the high performance cellphone market,” said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, as the above slide appeared. “AMD has partnered with industry leader Samsung for several years to accelerate graphics innovation in the mobile market. And we’re happy to announce that we’ll be bringing a custom graphical IP to Samsung’s upcoming flagship mobile SoC with variable rate ray tracing and shading capabilities.

“We really look forward to Samsung providing more details later this year,” Su concluded.

This clearly implies that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be the first Samsung phone to feature AMD RDNA 2 gaming powers. If the foldable is not intended to accommodate the first Exynos SoC with built-in RDNA 2 graphics, then the Galaxy S22 could be the first Samsung smartphone with an AMD GPU inside.

AMD’s Computex presentation follows below, with the Exynos-related announcement available around the 12th minute.

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