News [CNBC] AMD, Samsung partner on mobile graphics tech

AtenRa

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https://www.amd.com/en/press-releases/2019-06-03-amd-and-samsung-announce-strategic-partnership-ultra-low-power-high

Samsung to integrate custom AMD Radeon™ graphics IP into future SoCs for mobile applications
SEOUL, South Korea & SANTA CLARA, Calif.
06/03/2019
AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced a multi-year strategic partnership in ultra low power, high performance mobile graphics IP based on AMD Radeon graphics technologies. As part of the partnership, Samsung will license AMD graphics IP and will focus on advanced graphics technologies and solutions that are critical for enhancing innovation across mobile applications including smartphones.
“As we prepare for disruptive changes in technology and discover new opportunities, our partnership with AMD will allow us to bring groundbreaking graphics products and solutions to market for tomorrow’s mobile applications," said Inyup Kang, president of Samsung Electronics’ S.LSI Business. "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.”
“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 Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. “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.”
Key terms of the partnership include:
  • AMD will license custom graphics IP based on the recently announced, highly-scalable 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.
 

Krteq

Senior member
May 22, 2015
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RDNA even in mobile segment? Wow, another platform with AMD/Radeon graphics IP

  • HPC + AI servers
  • Game streaming platforms (Stadia etc.)
  • PCs (dedicated + integrated graphics)
  • Consoles
  • Embeded
  • Mobile
Did I forgot something?
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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Does Qualcomm still license their gpu to AMD? If so, Samsung's move will be creating Adreno v2.
 

piokos

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Nov 2, 2018
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RDNA even in mobile segment? Wow, another platform with AMD/Radeon graphics IP
It's not a Radeon architecture. It's just IP. Samsung designs a GPU, but they need to pay someone for license.

To be honest, I don't know why Samsung hasn't just bought Radeon from AMD. They must not see it as a good long-term investment.
  • HPC + AI servers
  • Game streaming platforms (Stadia etc.)
  • PCs (dedicated + integrated graphics)
  • Consoles
  • Embeded
  • Mobile
Did I forgot something?
Why would it not be used in many things? It's a GPU. It's good for many things. AMD's previous generations were just as well "utilized". Nvidia also does all above + AI Inference solutions.
 

Krteq

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May 22, 2015
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It's not a Radeon architecture. It's just IP. Samsung designs a GPU, but they need to pay someone for license.
Hmmm....well, it will be custom built GPU based on the RDNA, so YES, it's based on "Radeon"/RDNA uarch
custom graphics IP based on the recently announced, highly-scalable RDNA graphics architecture
 
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NTMBK

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Huh, interesting! I was just expecting a patent licensing agreement to cover their internally developed GPU. Did not expect "RDNA based". Did Samsung just can their in-house GPU?
 
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This is interesting (I'd posited about ARM itself maybe doing something like this, arguably this is a bigger deal for AMD as Samsung the biggest player in Android and is roughly equal to almost all the other Android OEMs combined). Wonder if this might lead to other collaboration (i.e. joint development of ARM based server chips? Or maybe AI stuff since that pairs well with GPUs, so Samsung could include it in their mobile SoCs, while making chiplets that AMD can put alongside GPU or CPU for datacenters).

Honestly though, I'd wager more than anything this is about patents/IP related stuff. But there's definitely some other things that would seem to make good sense for both companies, even if its just end products and not collaborating more up the chain.

Another interesting thing, AMD and Apple supposedly partnered up on development of Apple's post PowerVR GPU, so it looks like AMD might be quietly dominating the mobile GPU market. If they do, then it'll be through basically taking the complete and total opposite path that Nvidia has (and I think Nvidia's failure in mobile is probably exactly the reason why AMD went that path).

Huh, interesting! I was just expecting a patent licensing agreement to cover their internally developed GPU. Did not expect "RDNA based". Did Samsung just can their in-house GPU?
My guess is Samsung was likely going to be running into patent issues (AMD I believe had already successfully sued some ARM companies over GPU IP stuff), and its easier for them to just use AMD's design instead of trying to merge the two or some other situation. Which, mobile GPU design was basically following dGPU (ARM's new GPU for instance, Anandtech specifically highlighted how it now quite similar to how AMD and Nvidia dGPUs operate now).

Oh and for the person asking why Samsung didn't just buy RTG, I'm guessing AMD refused to sell it. Same reason why the AMD people (like supposedly Raja) were so mad that AMD wouldn't sell it to Intel. AMD sees GPU as being integral to their overall plans (and I agree). They let it languish but it was a calculated risk (for Zen's development) and seems to be paying off, and that work should help development of GPU related stuff (I think chiplets will be outright necessary for GPU development in the future, especially as they start using it for so many different things than just graphics, like AI, compute, etc). I personally have a hunch that's what this RDNA is really about (laying the groundwork of GPU chiplets, probably by integrating InfinityFabric and other interconnect/coherency related things), and less about the base GPU architecture itself (which I think people are just stupid for being so stuck on that).

Partnerships like this is what Lisa Su has been after. Its why we'll bellyache about the state of AMD consumer dGPU, but they simply don't make enough money there for that to be the focus of their development and even just business model. Its better for them to do things like this, and then from there, consumer products should arise.
 
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JasonLD

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Aug 22, 2017
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It is easier for Samsung to start their own GPU by licensing IPs from someone. I heard Samsung approached Nvidia first but Nvidia wasn't interested in licensing their IP. Nvidia instead offered to sell their own Tegra solution but Samsung refused.
I assume Samsung will keep the AMD license until they are good enough to make stuff on their own without IP infringement issues.
 

caswow

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Sep 18, 2013
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It is easier for Samsung to start their own GPU by licensing IPs from someone. I heard Samsung approached Nvidia first but Nvidia wasn't interested in licensing their IP. Nvidia instead offered to sell their own Tegra solution but Samsung refused.
I assume Samsung will keep the AMD license until they are good enough to make stuff on their own without IP infringement issues.
will not happen. ever.
 

piokos

Senior member
Nov 2, 2018
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Maybe because AMD is not interested in selling it? ;)
AMD is publicly traded. There are ways to force such a split if you have Samsung's money. ;-)
Hmmm....well, it will be custom built GPU based on the RDNA, so YES, it's based on "Radeon"/RDNA uarch
I think you're not reading this properly.
"custom graphics IP based on the recently announced, highly-scalable RDNA graphics architecture "
It's very subtle and precise. "IP" instead of "chip" changes the meaning completely.
 
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Glo.

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AMD would have to lose much more, than to get from this deal, with selling GPU division to Samsung.
 
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piesquared

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Oct 16, 2006
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RDNA even in mobile segment? Wow, another platform with AMD/Radeon graphics IP

  • HPC + AI servers
  • Game streaming platforms (Stadia etc.)
  • PCs (dedicated + integrated graphics)
  • Consoles
  • Embeded
  • Mobile
Did I forgot something?
That's mostly everything that's announced thus far, there are more to come. Expect an announcement from AMD and Microsoft for one as per the discussion at the Computex keynote.
 

piesquared

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Oct 16, 2006
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AMD is publicly traded. There are ways to force such a split if you have Samsung's money. ;-)

I think you're not reading this properly.
"custom graphics IP based on the recently announced, highly-scalable RDNA graphics architecture "
It's very subtle and precise. "IP" instead of "chip" changes the meaning completely.
There aren't ways here. For anyone to try to do a take over of RTG, they would be fighting a battle they can not win. AMD has RTG so deeply entrenched in the industry, the predator company would have to battle all the other companies AMD has partnered with. Not gonna happen. In this case, Samsung would for sure have at least Microsoft and Sony to fight as well as AMD. They'd likely get stiff opposition from Google and Apple as well.
 
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Krteq

Senior member
May 22, 2015
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AMD is publicly traded. There are ways to force such a split if you have Samsung's money. ;-)

I think you're not reading this properly.
"custom graphics IP based on the recently announced, highly-scalable RDNA graphics architecture "
It's very subtle and precise. "IP" instead of "chip" changes the meaning completely.
Yes, I'm reading it properly... Samsung will build their SoCs with custom GPU block (IP) based on RDNA uarch, that's what is written there :)

From Beyond3D forums
Nebuchadnezzar said:
AMD isn't delivering RTL to Samsung, it's an architecture license
Beyond3D Forums

BTW, NVIDIA tried to do exactly the same few years ago with Kepler uarch - but they failed hard, no one wanted it - NVIDIA - Visual Computing’s Ascent Gives NVIDIA Room to Expand Its Business Model (2013)
 
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RaV666

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Jan 26, 2004
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Thats a big deal for amd, i guess it kind of nullifies all the naysayers about how "horrible" amd gpu architectures are.
Seem like everybody wants either their chips or a license to make them.
 

piokos

Senior member
Nov 2, 2018
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AMD would have to lose much more, than to get from this deal, with selling GPU division to Samsung.
I don't see how that would be possible. Radeon isn't profitable anyway.
If you think about console revenue, there's an obvious solution: they could sign a deal with Samsung, Sony and Microsoft stating that only AMD CPUs will be used for another 10 years or something.

I know it's a common belief that Radeon division kept AMD afloat during the Bulldozer fiasco.
But the simple fact is: AMD was a financially stable CPU maker before ATI acquisition - a very solid (and equal) competitor to Intel. Taking over ATI is what sucked money from their CPU development and started the turmoil.
Thats a big deal for amd, i guess it kind of nullifies all the naysayers about how "horrible" amd gpu architectures are.
Seem like everybody wants either their chips or a license to make them.
Actually it's more like: everybody wants to make chips, but they can't because of patents. So they buy IP from whoever is willing to sell. AMD is, very likely, the cheapest supplier. And they need the money.

Whether this is a big deal for AMD or not is down to how much Samsung pays them. :)
 

Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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I don't see how that would be possible. Radeon isn't profitable anyway.
If you think about console revenue, there's an obvious solution: they could sign a deal with Samsung, Sony and Microsoft stating that only AMD CPUs will be used for another 10 years or something.

I know it's a common belief that Radeon division kept AMD afloat during the Bulldozer fiasco.
But the simple fact is: AMD was a financially stable CPU maker before ATI acquisition - a very solid (and equal) competitor to Intel. Taking over ATI is what sucked money from their CPU development and started the turmoil.
Radeon is not profitable? You do realize that you are talking about IP that brings AMD to consoles?

There is much more than being profitable for AMD to keep RTG. Oh, and it is not RTG anymore. Its once again one company. Its AMD.

The reason why AMD wins, is because it is the most willing company to work with other companies. Its because they have Semi-Custom division. Its because they are the only one company who can bring high performance CPUs and GPUs to ANY market.

And yes. It means that AMD's IP is way better than perception there is, about them. Samsung did not bought IP. Samsung bought ARCHITECTURES! Which AMD will deliver.
 

RaV666

Member
Jan 26, 2004
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...
Actually it's more like: everybody wants to make chips, but they can't because of patents. So they buy IP from whoever is willing to sell. AMD is, very likely, the cheapest supplier. And they need the money.

Whether this is a big deal for AMD or not is down to how much Samsung pays them. :)
You seem to be lost in the fact that samsung will use their architecture ,not just bought some patents to be free of litigation.
Also you seem to not get the fact that GPU in mobile sector is a pretty crowdy place, its not like they dont have a choice, the same goes for consoles.Samsung wouldnt buy it if it wasnt good for them.Neither would microsoft/sony and google.
And this is a big deal for amd no matter how much samsung pays them, they put their architecture in a new market, more developers will optimize for it.
 

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