The RDNA 2 GPU Inside Samsung’s Exynos 2200 SoC Might be More Similar to the Steam Deck APU Than You Think
It’s been a few weeks since the Samsung Galaxy S22 series has hit the shelves. After months on months of speculating about AMD’s secretive collab with Samsung on the Exynos 2200 SoC, we finally got the end product and it was alright to say the least. The Xclipse 920 didn’t live up to the expectations and hype generated by it being in development for so long, while, at the same time, it didn’t perform terribly per se.
With so many pre and post-release benchmarks, we really though we had seen everything about this chip and the Xclipse 920 GPU inside it, but alas, there’s something more. Gamma0burtst did a deep dive into the kernel of the Exynos 2200 and found some interesting results. According to the data uncovered, it seems that the AMD RDNA2-powered Xclipse 920 GPU inside the Exynos 2200 might actually be derived from AMD Van Gogh, the APU inside Valve’s Steam Deck.
AMD Van Gogh Lite
The piece of kernel data that led to this discovery was actually rather ingenious. The data had details about the Xclipse 920 GPU leading to the discovery that the chip is associated with the firmware of AMD “Van Gogh Lite“. The data suggests that the graphics subsystem is part shared among the two chips, therefore Van Gogh Lite is possibly a derivate of the standard AMD Van Gogh. However, the fact that Van Gogh Lite is an ARM-based chip whereas the normal Van Gogh inside the Steam Deck runs on fully-fledged x86 PC architecture is a bit strange.
If AMD and Samsung repurposed the Van Gogh Lite code for Xclipse 920 then this suggests that maybe the Xclipse 920 is itself based on AMD Van Gogh Lite. AMD may have taken the full-size Van Gogh APU and scaled its GPU down to fit into the Exynos 2200. That also will explain why the Xclipse 920 has 384 downclocked Stream Processors, instead of the 512 offered on the actual Van Gogh GPU.
Moreover, another discovery was made. The Samsung Exynos 2200 GPU subsystem already had a few different names, such as “Voyager“, “Mariner“, and officially “Xclipse 920”. However, Gamma0burst managed to find another one in the kernel data called “MGFX0“. On top of that, they also found “MGFX1” which is most likely the next iteration of this chip as seen by the “930” product code right below it, referring to Xclipse 930. It should be noted that Xclipse 930 might also increase the number of WorkGroup Processors (WGPs) from 3 on the current Xclipse 920 to 4 next year.