A new leak suggests a Samsung Exynos chipset could get ray tracing tech, meaning the company’s next flagship phone series – the Samsung Galaxy S22, expected in early 2022 – could be powered by Exynos silicon with this feature.
Ray tracing renders more dynamic (and true-to-life) lighting and reflections in computer graphics, and is mostly used as a benchmark feature for top-end computers rendering the latest games. At Computex 2021 in June, AMD boldly announced that it would bring its own graphics tech (including ray tracing) to the next generation of Exynos chipsets, but we hadn’t heard anything since from Samsung – until now (sort of).
The leak comes courtesy of noted leaker Ice Universe, who tweeted a purported screenshot of a Weibo post from the official Samsung Exynos account which “clearly stated that Ray Tracing technology is about to be mounted in the new Exynos GPU.” Per the screenshot, the supposed Weibo post was published on October 4, but a cursory view of the Exynos Weibo account doesn’t show a post later than October 1, suggesting it may have been deleted if it had been posted at all.
If true, this would be a huge accomplishment for Samsung, and a big bragging point to hold over both Apple’s A-series chips and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon silicon. We’ll have to see whether Samsung comes out officially acknowledging the tech will come to Exynos chips or if we’ll have to wait longer for ray tracing to reach smartphones.
Ray tracing: desktops, laptops...and smartphones?
Ray tracing remains a feature for top-specced desktop PCs, though more recent updates from Nvidia and others have enabled the tech for lower-end hardware and, potentially, laptops. It wouldn’t be a surprise if smartphones and tablets weren’t far behind.
Whether ray tracing will be visible or recognizable is another question. We expect only the top-tier Exynos chipsets to pack in ray tracing anyway (the AMD announcement only mentioned that some silicon will get augmented with its tech, so presumably, that will be the high-end models) – this means we could expect the flagship Samsung Galaxy S22 range to get it.
Those phones have at least Full HD (2400 x 1080) AMOLED displays, while the most expensive Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to have a WQHD (2560 x 1440) display like its predecessor. Since ray tracing is so processor-intensive, many gamers are opting to use it with 1080p resolution anyway, so the real question will be screen size: will gorgeous light and shadow rendering matter on screens as small as the 6-inch displays that are standard on current smartphones?
That’s a question we won’t know until the next suite of Exynos chipsets land next year, starting – we expect – with the Samsung Galaxy S22 in January 2022.
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