AMD has won the last few years with its industry-leading products in the compute space. It is interesting to see what RDNA 2 has accomplished with the RX 6000 series GPUs. In rasterization, it goes toe to toe with Nvidia’s 3000 series of GPUs and brings a range of open standards to the gaming industry.
We know that RDNA scales up well, but how does it scale down? As per announcements from both AMD and Samsung, we understand that the Korean giant has licensed RDNA GPU technology for the mobile space. We could very well see the fruits of this partnership soon.
As per a report from South Korea, early testing shows that AMD’s mRDNA 2 graphics processor for Samsung’s next Exynos chip is showing up to 30% performance drop compared to the latest generation of Mali GPU’s. Although we did come to a interesting performance numbers based on leaked benchmarks that we’ll look at in a moment.
The report also expands on hurdles with RDNA being scaled down to a mobile chip, such as thermal throttling. This would be challenging considering that the small form factor of mobile devices such as smartphones leaves little room for bulky, heavy heatsinks to help cool the chip. This factor suggests that this GPU may be meant for a larger device, or perhaps Samsung plans to add some exotic cooling strategy more often seen in the mobile gaming handhelds like the ROG Phone II.
mRDNA Samsung chip (Exynos 2200)
Galaxy S21U (Snapdragon 888)
Galaxy S20U (Exynos 2100)
iPhone 12 Pro (A14)
4 nm (Samsung foundry)
Manhattan 3.1 results
The table above combines data reported by Anandtech and SamMobile and shows a 51% improvement over the Galaxy S21U and 33% over the iPhone 12 Pro. It is to be noted that the data of the unknown Exynos chip is compared to best-case performance. Depending on how hot the mRDNA chip gets in normal usage, the result may be best-case and it will be interesting to see how Samsung gets around this problem to provide this level of performance for longer gaming sessions.
According to Ice universe on Twitter, we will see this new chip in action as early as next month.
We can hypothesize that they may use some AI technologies on the software side of things to give more power to the GPUs in workloads like gaming which would be one way to mitigate this issue. Also, this would mean for the first time an ARM chip will have the upper hand over Apple’s A-Series of processors.
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