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Samsung GPU May Be Galaxy S10’s Secret Weapon Against Apple

Samsung may soon have its secret weapon against Apple. The Korean tech giant is rumored to be designing a new mobile GPU of its own. 

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

According to Graphic Speak (corroborated by EE Times and reliable Samsung leaker Ice Universe), the GPU will sport an entirely new design. That would make it the first new GPU design to hit the market in over 10 years.

This chip's novel build will allow it to be used across a number of devices, including both smartphones and supercomputers. Apparently, we can expect it to deliver unprecedented graphic performance, which could enhance elements such as display resolution, graphic and 3D rendering and VR power consumption.

While Samsung wasn't willing to confirm the chip to Graphic Speak, the company also "didn't say they weren't doing it."

MORE: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Rumors: Release Date, Specs and More

When it comes to chip performance, Apple has long reigned supreme. In our testing, Samsung's Galaxy S9+, which uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset and 6GB of RAM, was the second-fastest to transcode a two-minute 4K video, behind the iPhone X, but ahead of Google's Pixel 2 XL. The S9+ was also slower to open demanding apps, and lagged behind on performance benchmarks.

That said, the S9+ also marked a big performance improvement over the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8, and beat out Google's Pixel 2 XL and Huawei's Mate 10 Pro. A new, significantly faster chip in the Galaxy S10 could put Samsung over the top.

That won't be an easy feat, however. Apple's upcoming A12 chip is rumored to have a 7-nanometer design (rather than the 10 nanometers of the A11) and is said to be even faster and more efficient than its predecessor. It's likely (though not certain) that all three of Apple's upcoming iPhone models will include the new chip. And the A12's small size should also allow for more design flexibility, and more room for other components.

Hopefully, we'll find out more details about this new technology at one of Samsung's upcoming press events in the next few months. The company's next big stop is New York City, where it will reveal the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9th. But the Galaxy S10 isn't expected to debut until early next year.

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, covering artificial intelligence and the internet of things. You can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.