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Nvidia CEO says ARM smartphone chips with GeForce GPUs are not coming any time soon, AMD and Samsung can get the edge with the upcoming RDNA2-powered Exynos SoC

Nvidia is not focusing on smartphone chips with GeForce GPUs right now. (Image Source: Computex 2021 stream)
Nvidia is not focusing on smartphone chips with GeForce GPUs right now. (Image Source: Computex 2021 stream)
Looks like Nvidia is playing the prudent game and is not touching any smartphone chips before completing the ARM acquisition. Its current solution for Android and iOS devices is the GeForce Now cloud gaming service, allowing AMD and Samsung to be first to market with the upcoming Exynos SoC that integrates an RDNA2 GPU later this year.
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AMD dropped quite a few bombs during this year’s Computex keynote, including the teaser for the upcoming Samsung Exynos smartphone SoC that integrates a Radeon GPU with ray tracing capabilities. As far as  graphics processing goes, smartphone SoCs have come a long way in just a few years thanks to the advancements pioneered by ARM. PC and consoles still have the edge, but if we starting seeing more chips like those coming from Samsung and AMD, the gap may be reduced significantly. Interestingly enough, ARM is in the process of being acquired by Nvidia, so the AMD-powered Exynos chips might get some serious competition, but not too soon, as suggested by Nvidia’s CEO in a Q&A session at Computex.

Jensen Huang stated that implementing a GeForce GPU with ray tracing features on a smartphone chip is not really a good idea for now:

Ray tracing games are quite large, to be honest. The data set is quite large, and there'll be a time for it. When the time is right we might consider it.

Huang is probably thinking that the GPU technology still needs to undergo a few more miniaturization cycles before combining it with smartphone chips. Samsung and AMD already seem to have 5 nm SoCs ready, so it is easier for them to do the implementation. Additionally, the ARM acquisition is not yet completed, so Nvidia may also need to wait at least until the first half of 2022 before further exploring this possibility. In any case, Huang believes that Nvidia’s current best solution for Android devices is the GeForce Now cloud gaming service that already caters to 10 million players across the globe and has a roster of 1000 games:

That's how we would like to reach Android devices, Chrome devices, iOS devices, Mac OS devices, Linux devices, all kinds of devices, whether it's on TV, mobile device, or PC. I think that for us, right now, that's the best strategy.

Speaking of miniaturization processes, the media also inquired about possible Nvidia investments in proprietary fabrication nodes. As of now, Nvidia is fabless and relies on foundries like Samsung and TSMC. The ARM acquisition could in time bring enough funds for proprietary production nodes, but Huang is not very keen on such endeavors:

There's a difference between a kitchen and a restaurant. There's a difference between a fab and a foundry. I could spin up a fab, no doubt, just like I can spin up a kitchen, but it won't be a good restaurant. You could spin up a fab, but it won't be a good foundry. The business is not easy, what TSMC does for a living is not easy, and it's not gonna get any easier.

 

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1535 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 06 > Nvidia CEO says ARM smartphone chips with GeForce GPUs are not coming any time soon, AMD and Samsung can get the edge with the upcoming RDNA2-powered Exynos SoC
Bogdan Solca, 2021-06- 3 (Update: 2021-06- 3)