AMD said Samsung will license custom graphics IP based on its RDNA graphics architecture to Samsung for use in mobile devices, including smartphones, and other products that complement AMD product offerings.
Samsung will pay AMD technology license fees and royalties, AMD said.
The development represents a black eye for ARM and its Mali graphics architecture. Over the previous decade Samsung has made use of Cortex CPU and Mali GPU licenses from ARM to develop its Exynos range of application processors.
There was no mention of exclusivity in the AMD announcement implying that Samsung is free to use both AMD and ARM graphics IP going forward. However, the cooperation between AMD and Samsung is at the least likely to keep ARM competitive on price.
ARM had more or less triumphed over previous competitor to license intellectual property for GPUs to mobile chip makers. When Imagination lost the support of its key customer and investor Apple it went into a decline and was eventually sold to a Chinese venture capital firm (see Imagination, MIPS to be sold to China-, California-connected VCs).
ARM now has competition the graphics area in the form of AMD.
"We look forward to working with AMD to accelerate innovations in mobile graphics technologies that will help take future mobile computing to the next level," said Inyup Kang, president of Samsung Electronics’ S.LSI business, in a statement issued by AMD.
"Adoption of our Radeon graphics technologies across the PC, game console, cloud and HPC markets has grown significantly and we are thrilled to now partner with industry leader Samsung to accelerate graphics innovation in the mobile market," said Lisa Su, AMD CEO, in the same statement. "This strategic partnership will extend the reach of our high-performance Radeon graphics into the mobile market, significantly expanding the Radeon user base and development ecosystem."
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