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.