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Samsung Partners With AMD to Power Up Mobile Chips

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(Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. introduced its first mobile processor powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. graphics as the company tries to better compete with the gaming prowess of archrival Apple Inc.’s iPhones.

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The new Exynos 2200 processor is built using Samsung’s most advanced 4nm fabrication process and is the industry’s first mobile chip with hardware support for ray tracing, an advanced approach to high-fidelity graphics that has been gaining traction in PC graphics cards. The graphics chip built on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, dubbed Xclipse, is described in Samsung’s announcement as bridging the gap between console and mobile performance.

“Samsung’s Xclipse GPU is the first result of multiple planned generations of AMD RDNA graphics in Exynos,” said David Wang, senior vice president at AMD.

Samsung typically uses its in-house Exynos processors in its own flagship Galaxy devices in some markets and it has customers such as Vivo that make use of its silicon in their handsets. Apple’s self-designed A-series processors and Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon lineup have traditionally dominated the mobile landscape, despite Samsung’s advantage of being able to manufacture its own chips.

The eight-core Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, now in mass production, is among the first to use the newest Armv9 central processing cores and includes an onboard neural processing unit focused on artificial intelligence tasks. The NPU’s performance has doubled this generation, according to Samsung. 5G wireless connectivity is also built into the chip, which will sit at the heart of Android smartphones this year.

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