Samsungs new Soc, but who's supplying the Graphics ?

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by tangey, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. tangey

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    0x5FF6BC
    Samsung have just released the first specs for their new Soc that was announced in Feb.

    http://www.samsung.com/global/syste...product/2008/4/23/370911ptb_s3c6410_rev20.pdf

    The previous gen processor is the one in the iphone, using MBX 3D from IMG.

    The specs above state that the 3D hardware is OpenGles 2.0 compliant, something that MBX is not, and Samsung has not licenced IMG's OpenGles 2.0 compliant core, SGX.

    So who is supplying the graphics, is it Arm's own Mali, is this Apple supplying its own SGX licence to Samsung to produce the chips (but surely they would not publish even the existence of this chip in that case).
     
  2. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    •Floating-point pipeline & Object-order rendering
    •4-Way SIMD vertex shader+ pixel shader
    •ShaderModel 3.0: World 1st implementation
    •128-bit (32-bit x 4) FP x 1 Vertex Shader
    128-bit (32-bit x 4) FP x 1 Pixel Shaders
    8-stage pipeline
    512 Instruction Slots (configurable)
    •Memory BW Optimization by Hierarchical Caching

    Doesn't look like SGX at all to me, since it's SIMD and not unified. Can't be ATI's either and NVIDIA doesn't license theirs... So I'm thinking ARM/Falanx's Mali, yeah... Congrats to the guys working there if that's true. And if it's not, I am incredibly curious who might be behind that IP then.
     
  3. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
    Moderator Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    In the Island of Sodor, where the steam trains lie
  4. tangey

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    0x5FF6BC
    I was aware of that press release, however it doesn't mention Samsung in relation to hadware cores, it mentions samsung in relation to a JSR graphics "Engine", i.e. a software layer.

    Seeing that IMG are getting circa 8M royalities from iphone by end of this year, and possibly more, and various analyst are predicting between 15-30M iphones for 2009, it would be a major loss of revenue for IMG IF, and I repeat IF Apple continue with samsung as the supplier of the Soc, and use this new, non-IMG version.

    A bit rich of them suggsting its the first implementation of SM3, doesn't SGX have SM3, which is implemented in Intels Centrino Atom SCH chips that have been demo-ed at Intels IDF and also CES (TI OMap3 is also SGX, its also been demoed).
     
    #4 tangey, Apr 24, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2008
  5. Rob Evans

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    1
    Was that 8M in $ or £?

    Either way it seems too high - IMG will be sharing the royalties with ARM, as the MBX license was signed with Samsung under the joint agreement IMG had with ARM at the time.

    Also the IP is for the MBX Lite, so will be at the lower end of the royalty scale.

    Finally IMG have previously said that royalty levels decrease with volume, so all round I would have thought IMG are getting around 10p to 20p royalty per chip.

    With Apple indicating expected sales around 10M for the first year, I would expect royalties of around £1.5m to IMG. Not massive, nor insignificant, but with the projected volumes for subsequent years, including additional models, the loss of this to ARM would be very disappointing.

    Rob.
     
  6. tangey

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    0x5FF6BC
    Thats was 8M royalties i.e. 8M units

    HI Rob, Its Ian :)

    I see the iphone as just being the first in a series, and quite likely for unit sales to ramp up going forward ala ipod. I'd dont want that to happen without IMG inside.

    There seems to be no info as yet that Apple have settled on a next gen platform, I wouldn't want it to be the new samsung chip.
     
  7. Rob Evans

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ah, of course - sorry!


    I did wonder, given the similarity in viewpoints :)

    I also see the current iPhone as the first in a series, and believe it and subsequent variations will sell in massive quantities, so I totally agree regarding the desirability of the S3C6410 not being chosen.

    Rob.
     
  8. knux

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would guess it has to be mali, cuz if it were to be an SGX it would have a unified shader architecture.
     
  9. roninja

    Regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG; "Imagination") - a leader in System-on-Chip Intellectual Property ("SoC IP") - reports that it has signed a licence agreement with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”) with respect to certain POWERVR SGX graphics and VXD video IP cores.
    This licence enables Samsung to manufacture semiconductor devices which integrate these IP cores from Imagination.
    Under the terms of its licensing arrangements, Imagination receives licence fees and royalty revenues on SoCs incorporating Imagination’s IP.
     
  10. tangey

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    0x5FF6BC
    As per my post on another thread, this tells me the recently announced Samsung Soc S3C6410 will NOT be used by Apple, and that Samsung have just been given the permission my IMG to manufacture chips containing their IP, for use by Apple.
     
  11. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    Alternatively, maybe Samsung synthetized VXD for Apple, then realized 'holy shit this is a bazillion times better than our technology :(' and then they ran to PowerVR to license it and got SGX at the same time... :p
     
  12. Lazy8s

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    18
    Samsung licensed the right to only manufacture those PowerVR IPs, not to implement them into their own designs, from the wording of the PR.

    As the others were saying, Samsung seems to be facilitating their ability to compete for the manufacturing of a next generation iPhone SoC.
     
  13. tangey

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    0x5FF6BC
    Spot on.


    See my post on the PA semi discussion (attached to the news article on the front page), for some more thoughts on this.
     
  14. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    Hmm, yeah, now that I read the wording again you're right. So the big question is: would they need to do this 1+ year ahead of production so they can start on the synthesis work or tape-out? Or could this confirm the iPhone 3G uses VXD? Because if that's true...
     
  15. roninja

    Regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
  16. Lazy8s

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    18
    Yeah: all indications from Imgtec are that Intel's System Controller Hub and Texas Instruments' OMAP3 will be the first implementations of SGX.
     
  17. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    I thought I'd bump this thread because I *very briefly* talked to someone at Samsung during Mobile World Congress, and from what I could understand (his accent was even worse than mine!) their OpenGL ES 2.0 3D core is actually in-house (!!!)

    This kinda makes sense given the specs, since I don't think Mali does "Object-order rendering" or "Memory BW Optimization by Hierarchical Caching". Amusingly, they are also the most open about performance in the latest version of their datasheet - yay?

    It looks decent, until you look at the last line. 37.8M is less than 1/3rd the peak throughput; what's going on here?! I guess that's not too bad for blending, but what scares me is that 'shaded' fillrate does not include the word 'bilinear'. I certainly hope it's full-speed for bilinear! *sigh*

    I suspect that they use a highly customized version of ARM's Mali SW for their drivers; it is interesting to see that ARM's website always seems to imply that this SW is optimized for Mali, but not necessarily exclude for it (even excluding the fact some of it also works on ARM CPUs). It seems pretty damn crazy to want to do your own 3D core nowadays, but then again Samsung is also making their own LTE and WiMax single-mode chips sooo... :) (that makes sense in terms of building IP/patents to reduce license/royalty fees in a way that making a 3D core doesn't though)

    At their MWC stand, Samsung was demoing a pretty large number of things (including mobile TV) but wasn't being very specific about any of them. They had a demo of their next app processor which supports 720p video playback, and they had a roadmap diagram that showed they would support 1080p in 2010. So I guess they're still want to be a serious competitor in that market.

    EDIT: Only alternative I can think of is that it's a GPU from Vivante, but I don't think they really fit the bill... So I would still tend to think it's in-house, although if anyone has any other info I'd obviously be very interested.
     
  18. roninja

    Regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't be SGX given that Samsung only took a "direct" licence late last year long after this SoC became available...
     
  19. Lazy8s

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    18
    An old roadmap from Samsung of their mobile 3D plans implied that, after their MBX Lite-equipped SoCs, they'd use different IP for an incremental upgrade (which they rated at a performance of 10M tri/sec, if I remember correctly.)

    In-house sourcing of graphics hardware IP isn't unheard of in this space. Another major semi, Toshiba, has been doing it all along, too. Their ES 1.1 co-processors were followed up with an announcement of a "100M tri/sec" ES 2.0 accelerator, speculated to be the salvaged fruits of the R&D that went into the failed contender for the PS3's GPU, the RS.
     
  20. Lazy8s

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    18
    That old Samsung roadmap specified a 3D part rated at 5M tri/sec, actually, and scheduled for availability around 2006, if I recall, to follow up their 1M tri/sec MBX Lite part, now that I'm thinking back again.

    Even at that time, Samsung appeared to be designing with multiple 3D hardware IPs.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...