AMD open to making graphics chips for mobile devices

AMD could make mobile GPUs, but only in a partnership or a licensing deal

AMD hasn't truly said goodbye to mobile devices.

The company is open to making a graphics processor for mobile devices based on its Radeon product line, but only in select circumstances, said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group.

AMD could make a mobile GPU as part of a partnership or a licensing deal, but otherwise has no active plans to build an end product for mobile devices, Koduri said this week.

The company currently makes GPUs for PCs and embedded devices. AMD sold its mobile graphics division in 2009 to Qualcomm, which uses the technology in a mobile GPU called Adreno, an anagram of Radeon.

Graphics chips are expensive and difficult to make, but AMD could make one as part of a large custom chip deal, potentially worth millions of dollars. AMD has been making custom chips for years as it looks to expand beyond PCs into adjacent product lines.

AMD shipped more than 50 million custom chips in 2015, including chips for Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 gaming consoles. Custom chip deals make up a growing part of AMD's revenue stream.

Graphics processors can draw a lot of power and drain the battery of devices. AMD's GPUs can be turned into smaller cores and tweaked to consume less power, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

AMD's low-power GPUs for embedded devices are capable of running 4K video, and the company could flip that architecture over to mobile devices.

But finding success in the mobile GPU market can be difficult, as shown by Nvidia. Its power-hungry, high-end graphics cards didn't fly in mobile devices. Nvidia's Tegra chips -- which include a CPU and GPU -- are now included in just a handful of tablets.

The graphics market is now ruled by Imagination, with its graphics chips used in Apple's iPhone and iPad, and ARM, with its Mali graphics used in Samsung's Galaxy handsets.

Customers might consider AMD's mobile graphics in the event of radical technology improvements, McGregor said. Otherwise, AMD's decision to hang on until a partnership or licensing opportunity is a smart one, he added.

"I don't think there are going to be too many takers," McGregor said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?