Samsung was scheduled to announce a new Exynos mobile chip this week, but that didn’t happen. It wouldn’t be the first time an event was delayed at the last minute, but Samsung didn’t say a word — it just ghosted everyone. Samsung has since claimed there’s nothing wrong, and the Exynos 2200 will launch alongside an upcoming phone, but rumors point to major issues with Samsung’s big AMD partnership.
Samsung has been making Exynos chips since the early days of Android, but it has never relied on them entirely. Most Samsung flagships in the US market have Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, and these are generally considered to be the better version of the phones. The international market gets Exynos, which in recent years has meant higher heat and lower performance. The move to an AMD GPU was supposed to revitalize the company’s system-on-a-chip.
After the announcement failed to happen as planned, Ars Technica reports that Samsung released a statement saying in part: “There are no problems with the AP’s production and performance.” Still, the rumors persist. After breaking the news of the event’s cancellation, noted Samsung leaker Ice Universe took to the Sina Weibo social network to divulge what he’s been hearing from inside Samsung, and boy is it juicy.
Past Samsung Exynos chips have used ARM’s Mali reference GPU designs. Qualcomm, however, has its custom Adreno GPU technology. Partnering with AMD to ger RDNA2 technology into its mobile chipset could revitalize the Exynos line. Perhaps Samsung was a little too ambitious with its timeline, though. Ice Universe says the company is scrambling to address heat issues that could scuttle the launch of the S22. The Exynos 2200’s RDNA2 GPU cores are allegedly supposed to run at 1.9GHz, but thermal performance begins to dip considerably at just 1.29GHz. The idea is to enhance gaming performance with RDNA2, but this could do the opposite. This has supposedly led to recriminations across the company as the S22 launch closes in and management looks for someone to blame.
Samsung can get away with skipping a chipset launch, but that’s not the case when it comes to its big annual flagship phone refresh. Could Samsung rely on Qualcomm for all the S22 phones? Currently, Samsung has the S22 reveal scheduled for February 8th. Samsung typically starts taking pre-orders a few weeks after announcing new Galaxy S phones. If there are issues with the Exynos 2200, it’s a little late to change anything. Although, there’s no rule that says Samsung has to release the S22 in February or March. If there is a smartphone OEM on Earth that could make a hardware change like this in such a short time, it’s Samsung.