Samsung Teases Support for Ray Tracing on Its Next Exynos Chip

Samsung Teases Support for Ray Tracing on Its Next Exynos Chip
Image: Samsung

In a glimpse of what could bring a big boost to mobile graphics, Samsung just teased an image showing support for ray tracing on one of its upcoming Exynos processors.

When AMD announced that it was partnering with Samsung to bring an RDNA 2 to a future mobile chip back at Computex 2021, people were expecting some big developments, including possibly porting over some of AMD’s desktop graphics tech to mobile chips.

And now according to an official post on Weibo (via noted leaker Ice Universe), Samsung has confirmed that it will be including support for ray tracing in the GPU on a future Exynos chip. In the post, Samsung showed off a side-by-side comparison demonstrating the effects of ray tracing, which includes more realistic light modelling, improved dynamic range, and more.

Unfortunately, while Samsung did not name a specific chip that will be getting ray tracing or a timetable for its release, many are predicting that this chip could be the upcoming Exynos 2200, which is expected to be featured in some versions of the Galaxy S22. North American Galaxy S phones have typically featured Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, while international variants get Exynos processors.

It’s also somewhat unclear from the post if the image is an actual screenshot from a game or if the image was simply created to better illustrate the power of ray tracing, which renders more realistic scenes by calculating and tracing the path of light as it bounces around a given environment, hence its name.

To add even more fuel to the rumours, leaked benchmarks that appear to be from the Exynos 2200 started making the rounds this summer showing GPU performance similar to Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, which is quite promising given that Samsung still had months to tune and optimise the performance of its upcoming SoC.

That said, it’s important to keep expectations in check, because back in July, Ice Universe posted a diagram of the Exynos 2200’s chip design showing what appeared to be 384 Stream processors, which is significantly less than what you get in one of AMD’s modern desktop GPUs. Those typically have around 2,000 to 4000 Stream processors.

With Google having created its own custom-designed chip for the Pixel 6, called Google Tensor, and Samsung partnering with AMD to build GPUs for its mobile chips, the battle for mobile silicon supremacy is clearly heating up as smartphone makers try to keep pace with and possibly outdo Apple’s powerful A-series chips.

And with Samsung and AMD poised to bring ray tracing to mobile chips for the first time, things are about to get even more interesting.