The bizarre story of the Exynos 2200 continues. Samsung LSI’s flagship smartphone chip was supposed to be announced at a much-discussed event a week ago, but the day came and went with no announcement. Samsung made the unprecedented move not to show its own launch event, fueling rumors of troubled chip development and behind-the-scenes malfunctions at Samsung.
The day after the chip was due to be launched, Samsung said: “We plan to unveil the new application processor at the same time as a new Samsung smartphone is launched”, which most viewers assumed would be the launch of the Galaxy S22 in February. It also turned out not to be the right timing for the unveiling, and the chip was announced as a surprise last night.
Now the Exynos 2200 is finally official. The headline feature is a new “Samsung Xclipse 920 GPU” co-developed by AMD. Samsung says the GPU will use AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, the same as AMD’s Radeon desktop GPUs, and will bring “hardware-accelerated ray tracing” to mobile devices.
David Wang, the SVP of AMD’s Radeon division, said: “Samsung’s Xclipse GPU is the first result of several planned generations of AMD RDNA graphics in Exynos SoCs.” Earlier reports indicated that Samsung is not only looking at smartphones, but eventually wants to assemble an Apple M1 fighting ARM laptop chip.
The CPU is about what you would expect from a 2022 ARM chip. The 4nm SoC has one Cortex X2 CPU for single-threaded performance, three Cortex A710 cores, and four low-power Cortex A510 cores, as does Qualcomm’s 2022 chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. These are all new ARM v9 cores. cores, with the X2 and small cores both are 64-bit only.
Samsung’s announcement doesn’t raise any questions about laborious development of the Exynos 2200. The press release and product site both lack many of the details usually revealed at this point. For example, Samsung has not made any performance claims about the Exynos 2200 CPU or GPU. If you read last year’s Exynos 2100 press release around this time, you’ll see claims of 30 percent better multi-core CPU performance and 40 percent faster graphics.
This year, however, Samsung doesn’t really promise that its new chip will be faster than its old chip. That’s not to say it won’t, but if the rumors are true and Samsung is still dealing with heat issues, it’s too early to commit to specific performance claims. Similarly, the product site for the Exynos 2200 does not list any frequencies for the CPU or GPU, while the Exynos 2100 site does.
Samsung’s flagship Exynos line is now named after the Galaxy S line, so we should be seeing the Exynos 2200 in the Galaxy S22. However, the Galaxy line usually uses two different SoCs, with Qualcomm chips in the US, China and other regions and Exynos in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Korea. If the Exynos 2200 really has issues, we could see Samsung moving the S22 more towards Qualcomm for this generation, but we’ll have to wait for the phone’s announcement to see if that happens.