AMD, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, VR World

MediaTek’s Upcoming SoCs May Feature AMD Graphics

In what may turn out to be a vital move for MediaTek (TPE:2454) in its bid to challenge Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) in the mobile segment, it is believed that the Taiwanese manufacturer is set to license AMD’s (NASDAQ:AMD) graphics technology for its SoCs.

There are no concrete details on the alleged partnership, which is said to have occurred at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Siding with a vendor such as AMD would be beneficial to both companies as it would give MediaTek leverage a significant advantage in the realm of mobile graphics, and AMD would stand to gain a foothold in the ultra low-power market.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) already has the Tegra X1 in this segment, and even if AMD does not create an SoC by itself, siding with a manufacturer such as MediaTek would ensure that its offerings are seen in a wide variety of hardware, a feat that Nvidia has failed to achieve thus far with its Tegra chips.

MediaTek is set to up the ante this year with its range of 64-bit octa-core SoCs that offer LTE connectivity, and while its offerings are slowly gaining traction — particularly in markets like China and India — the Taiwanese vendor does not manufacture a custom graphics solution. Options in this segment include ARM’s Mali GPU and Imagination’s PowerVR offerings, both of which MediaTek has used in the past.

Qualcomm, meanwhile, holds a significant lead with its in-house Adreno GPUs, the foundation of which was built on by ATI, which AMD acquired in 2006. AMD finally sold the technology — branded Imageon — to Qualcomm for a meager $64 million in 2009. A deal with MediaTek would bring about a re-entry into the world of mobile graphic solutions for AMD.

A collaboration between the two would also lead to an increased focus on HSA/GPGPU products, considering that MediaTek is a founding member of the HSA Foundation. There’s no mention as to when we will see a MediaTek SoC powered by AMD graphics, and seeing as how Computex is where AMD is said to launch its next-generation desktop video cards, it is likely we’ll hear more about the vendor’s re-emergence into the world of low-power graphics at the event.

VR World has reached out to MediaTek for comment and will be updating this post if the company chooses to respond.

  • Medallish

    Maybe Mediatek is finally going to give HSA a go?

    • ( )

      They have been seeing they are a founder along with AMD.

  • ( )

    The relationship between MediaTek is a bit more mature than this piece here seems to indicate.

    “We look around and find that since Nvidia won’t open up CUDA the only alternative would be AMD, that’s why we got in touch and started to explore options with them. They quickly identified us an important partner, and told us they wanted us to be a co-founder [of the alliance]. That’s how it got started: because we wanted to enter the “third era” of heterogeneous computing.

    VRZ: How did the first meeting with AMD happen? Did you pitch to them?

    CPL: It’s almost like a couple falling in love with each other at first sight [laughter]. I forget who pitched to whom, but I think when we first met we [pitched the idea] to each other.”