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MediaTek to leverage AMD graphics in its SoCs says report

by Mark Tyson on 10 March 2015, 11:50

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD), MediaTek

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacps6

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According to industry sources AMD and MediaTek engineers are working together to leverage AMD Radeon graphics in mobile SoCs, reports Fudzilla. This is big news for both companies concerned; AMD is getting back into the ultra-low power graphics market and MediaTek could have a USP to boast about in its up and coming chip designs.

If you think that MediaTek are just an upstart in the mobile chip business - think again - because last year the firm became the world's number two mobile device chipmaker according to Jon Peddie Research. With 23 per cent of the global market its market share nestles between Qualcomm (42 per cent) and Apple (13 per cent) and its shipments dwarf those of tech titan Samsung (4 per cent), for example

Back to the rumour in hand, Fudzilla says that "key AMD graphics people are in continuous contact with MediaTek and that they have been working on an SoC graphics solution for a while". It previously was reassured by a senior AMD source that "AMD didn't forget how to make good ultra-low power graphics," after selling off its Imageon mobile graphics division to Qualcomm in 2009. MediaTek is known to be fond of utilising Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPUs in its high-end SoC designs.

Currently mobile SoC makers have access to the following graphics architectures:

  • Adreno: based on Imageon by ATI, exclusive to Qualcomm.
  • PowerVR: can be licensed and used by chipmakers. Both Apple and MediaTek have used these GPUs.
  • ARM Mali: can be licensed and used by chipmakers. Currently used in many Samsung SoCs but may be replaced by Samsung's own GPU designs in coming months.
  • Nvidia Maxwell: Seems to be limited to Nvidia branded tablets right now in the mobile market.
  • Intel: has its own mobile graphics tech but has used PowerVR GPUs.

It isn't thought that MediaTek will have exclusive use of mobile AMD GPU cores but it does sound like it could gain a first-mover advantage, which could boost its business, depending upon the potency and energy efficiency offered by the SoC fruit of the collaboration.

AMD and MediaTek have declined to confirm or deny any collaboration.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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I think you've forgotten Vivante's gpus which power Marvell and Freescale products, to name a few.

However, this is good news for AMD who have been struggling to make a meaningful impact on the mobile device market.
Irien
However, this is good news for AMD who have been struggling to make a meaningful impact on the mobile device market.

Or it could be a PR disaster. Mobile devices means Android or Chrome, and that means Linux based, and whilst I like the AMD graphics hardware as a Linux user I just don't want to touch it.

I think this article shows how bad it is, it seems there is a chance that AMD will release an updated Linux driver this month, and that counts as news:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=AMD-Catalyst-Linux-March-2015

Drivers should be regular and reliable, not occasional and iffy. I can only hope that with this comes better hardware documentation so that the open source driver improves to match AMD's driver.
DanceswithUnix
Irien
However, this is good news for AMD who have been struggling to make a meaningful impact on the mobile device market.

Or it could be a PR disaster. Mobile devices means Android or Chrome, and that means Linux based, and whilst I like the AMD graphics hardware as a Linux user I just don't want to touch it.

I think this article shows how bad it is, it seems there is a chance that AMD will release an updated Linux driver this month, and that counts as news:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=AMD-Catalyst-Linux-March-2015

Drivers should be regular and reliable, not occasional and iffy. I can only hope that with this comes better hardware documentation so that the open source driver improves to match AMD's driver.

Isn't that like thinking that the Xbox one runs Catalyst Control Center? I doubt there's any issues designing software for a single SoC vs. designing software that works across multiple SoC's and GPU's.
Medallish
Isn't that like thinking that the Xbox one runs Catalyst Control Center? I doubt there's any issues designing software for a single SoC vs. designing software that works across multiple SoC's and GPU's.

Not really :)

There is a vast number of Android apps out there, already written, using OpenGL. AMD need to be able to run those apps without issue.
Xbox has to run stuff written for and debugged on the xbox.

Thinking about it this might be OK, the high end AMD cards are not well supported under Linux but we aren't talking R9 290 stuff here and the low end cards seem to work quite well with the open source driver.
I don't see why drivers should be an issue. You seem to be forgetting Qualcomm graphics are based on ATI technology!;)

Mediatek is probably licensing AMD IP and making their own implementations. The PS4 is using an OS called Orbis which is a version of FreeBSD and is a Unix like OS too like Linux.