June 25, 2021

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AMD Radeon Graphics Coming to New Samsung Flagship Exynos SoC, Next-Gen Tesla Cars: Computex 2021

In addition to lots of news about upcoming products at its virtual Computex 2021 keynote, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su also confirmed two rumours that have been circulating for a while regarding partnerships with Samsung and Tesla. AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics architecture will be used in the next flagship Exynos SoC from Samsung, and its Ryzen APUs as well as Radeon GPUs will power the infotainment systems of the next Tesla Model S and Model X revisions. No in-depth details of either of these partnerships were disclosed, as the respective companies will make their own product announcements soon.

Samsung and AMD announced a partnership in June 2019, which would see the Korean giant license AMD’s Radeon graphics IP to Samsung for future Exynos processors. Just a few months later, Samsung said the first Exynos SoC with Radeon graphics could be released as soon as 2021, and it appears that the partnership is more or less on target. 

On stage at the virtual Computex 2021 keynote, Su announced that Samsung’s next flagship Exynos smartphone processor will feature custom Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics IP and will support ray tracing as well as variable rate shading. Samsung will talk about the processor in more detail later this year. When it comes to flagship phones, Samsung often uses a mix of its own Exynos SoCs and other options such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips for the same model in different parts of the world, so it will be interesting to see which models will be getting the high-end integrated graphics capabilities. 

It is also possible that the upcoming Exynos SoC will be used for products other than smartphones. While tablets would be the obvious other market, it has been rumoured that Samsung intends to launch laptops running Windows on Arm. This could put it in competition with Apple, which has begun its transition to in-house Arm-based processors with its own graphics IP.  

tesla model s gaming tesla tesla

The redesigned Tesla Model S interior, showing front and rear screens with games running
Photo Credit: Tesla Inc

The partnership with Tesla has also been rumoured ever since the American electric car manufacturer announced its redesigned Model S and Model X earlier this year, teasing enough graphics horsepower for high-end gaming in-car. An embedded Ryzen APU powers the in-dash infotainment system of the new luxury Tesla cars, and an additional discrete RDNA 2-based GPU will allow users to run AAA games.

Both models feature large dashboard touchscreens as well as rear passenger screens, and Tesla has stated that compatibility with wireless controllers will allow gaming from any seat. A mockup image shows cover art for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted at the time that Cyberpunk 2077 can run on the system as well. It isn’t yet clear which game developers will support this new platform, or even what software the platform runs on. 

Su noted during her keynote that the GPU can deliver up to 10 Teraflops of graphics throughput, which is roughly on par with the PlayStation 5, but did not disclose any specifications. AMD already has a robust ecosystem of partners using its graphics IP, most notably both Sony and Microsoft for past and current generations of their PlayStation and Xbox game consoles.