Samsung teams with AMD on a mobile chip with ray tracing

Samsung’s smart TVs, computer monitors, and phones have long been favorites among gamers thanks to their display quality and partnerships with companies like Xbox. With cloud gaming and the Xbox Game Pass subscription, it’s possible to play the highest fidelity Xbox titles on a mobile device, but features like ray tracing aren’t typically found on mobile. Samsung is aiming to change that with its new AMD-based mobile system-on-chip (SoC).

During Computex Taipei, AMD said it would provide Samsung with RDNA 2 graphics technology for an Exynos mobile chip boasting high-end graphical features such as ray tracing and variable rate shading. Ray tracing makes games look even more realistic by accurately rendering light and reflections. Much like HDR, this can produce a more “eye popping” image for gamers playing on larger phone displays. Further details are expected later this year, but at the very least, gamers can probably expect ray tracing as an option for the next Samsung flagship phone, the Galaxy S22.

Samsung’s phone business has been split between using its own in-house Exynos processors and the Snapdragon chips provided by mobile giant Qualcomm. Samsung smartphones sold in the US have generally come with Qualcomm processors, while the rest of the world has been equipped with Exynos – which some tech experts have claimed is slightly less performant than the Qualcomm equivalent. Samsung surprisingly switched to the Snapdragon chip for its Galaxy S20 in its home market of South Korea.   It’ll be interesting to see if Samsung’s push to beef up Exynos with ray tracing functionality will lead to a greater reliance on its own processors. Dedicated PC gamers who have enjoyed ray tracing could be a target demographic. In the US, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, 30% of the US population owns a Samsung smartphone, and among heavy PC gamers (defined as 10 or more hours played weekly), nearly a third own a Samsung smartphone, just behind 40% who own an iPhone.