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posted by janrinok on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:03AM   Printer-friendly

Samsung has announced the mass production of 12 Gb (1.5 GB) LPDDR4 DRAM chips on a 20nm process. The state-of-the-art was previously 8 Gb. The new DRAM chips could enable the production of smartphones with 6 gigabytes of RAM:

The production of 12Gb chips opens up the possibility of smartphones and tablets with 6GB of RAM using a four 12Gb chip DRAM package, as well as 3GB using just two chips in a package. A 6GB package would also only take up the same amount of space as existing 3GB packages which use 6Gb chips. The new 12Gb chips also end up being very slightly more than 30% faster than their 8Gb chips, with a per-pin speed of 4266Mbps which would give 34Gbps of bandwidth over a 64bit bus. With Samsung beginning mass production of this new memory it's only a matter of time before we start to see more devices move from 2GB to 3GB and from 4GB to 6GB of RAM.

There are several phones on the market with 4 GB of RAM, such as the Oppo Find 9, Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, ASUS ZenFone 2, Sony Xperia Z4, Lenovo K80, Huawei Ascend D8, and soon, Micromax's YU5050. These manufacturers could use 12 Gb chips to create phones with 6 GB of faster RAM without using additional chips.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Symetium Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for a "Smartphone PC" 13 comments

Tom's Hardware is reporting on an IndieGoGo campaign to fund a dockable "smartphone PC". Symetium is pitching a customized UI Android 6.0 smartphone with a Snapdragon 820 SoC, 6 GB of RAM, and from 64 to 256 GB of flash storage along with an SD card slot. The Symetium IndieGoGo claims that the device "features an operating system designed to work seamlessly as a desktop OS and a mobile one". When docked with an external display (wirelessly or by USB), the phone can act as a keyboard and mouse.

If any of this sounds familiar, you may be remembering the Ubuntu Edge, a similar concept phone from Canonical that also used an IndieGoGo fixed funding campaign. Canonical sought $32 million for the Ubuntu Edge but only raised $12,809,906. Symetium is looking for just $1.25 million. Prices range from $499 to $999 and it is expected to ship by July 2016.


Original Submission

Samsung Announces 8 GB DRAM Package for Mobile Devices 10 comments

Samsung has announced an 8 GB LPDDR4 DRAM package intended for smartphones and tablets, using four 16 Gb (2 GB) chips manufactured on a 10nm-class process (probably 18nm):

Samsung this week announced its first LPDDR4 memory chips made using its 10nm-class DRAM fabrication technology. The new DRAM ICs feature the industry's highest density of 16 Gb, are rated to run at 4266 MT/s data rate, and open the door to more mobile devices with 8 GB of DRAM.

Earlier this year Samsung started to produce DDR4 memory using its 10nm-class DRAM manufacturing process (which is believed to be 18 nm) and recently the firm began to use it to make LPDDR4 memory devices, just as it planned. The thinner fabrication technology allowed Samsung to increase capacity of a single LPDDR4 DRAM IC to 16 Gb (up from 12 Gb at 20nm introduced in August, 2015) while retaining a 4266 MT/s transfer rate.

The first product to use the 16 Gb ICs is Samsung's 8 GB LPDDR4-4266 mobile DRAM package for smartphones, tablets, and other applications that can use LPDDR4. The device stacks four memory ICs and provides up to 34 GB/s of bandwidth when connected to an SoC using a 64-bit memory bus. The 8 GB DRAM package comes in a standard 15 mm x 15 mm x 1 mm form-factor, which is compatible with typical mobile devices, but Samsung can also make the package thinner than 1 mm to enable PoP stacking with a mobile application processor or a UFS NAND storage device.

The press release confirms the high data rate:

The new 8GB LPDDR4 operates at up to 4,266 megabits per second (Mbps), which is twice as fast as DDR4 DRAM for PCs working typically at 2,133 Mbps per pin. Assuming a 64 bit (x64) wide memory bus, this can be viewed as transmitting over 34GBs of data per second.

Tune in next year when I post about Samsung putting 12 GB of RAM in smartphones.

Previously:
Samsung Announces 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAM, Could Enable Smartphones With 6 GB of RAM
Samsung Announces "10nm-Class" 8 Gb DRAM Chips


Original Submission

Samsung's Second Generation 10nm-Class DRAM in Production 1 comment

Samsung's second generation ("1y-nm") 8 Gb DDR4 DRAM dies are being mass produced:

Samsung late on Wednesday said that it had initiated mass production of DDR4 memory chips using its second generation '10 nm-class' fabrication process. The new manufacturing technology shrinks die size of the new DRAM chips and improves their performance as well as energy efficiency. To do that, the process uses new circuit designs featuring air spacers (for the first time in DRAM industry). The new DRAM ICs (integrated circuits) can operate at 3600 Mbit/s per pin data rate (DDR4-3600) at standard DDR4 voltages and have been validated with major CPU manufacturers already.

[...] Samsung's new DDR4 chip produced using the company's 1y nm fabrication process has an 8-gigabit capacity and supports 3600 MT/s data transfer rate at 1.2 V. The new D-die DRAM runs 12.5% faster than its direct predecessor (known as Samsung C-die, rated for 3200 MT/s) and is claimed to be up to 15% more energy efficient as well. In addition, the latest 8Gb DDR4 ICs use a new in-cell data sensing system that offers a more accurate determination of the data stored in each cell and which helps to increase the level of integration (i.e., make cells smaller) and therefore shrink die size.

Samsung says that the new 8Gb DDR4 chips feature an "approximate 30% productivity gain" when compared to similar chips made using the 1x nm manufacturing tech.
UPDATE 12/21: Samsung clarified that productivity gain means increase in the number of chips per wafer. Since capacity of Samsung's C-die and D-die is the same, the increase in the number of dies equals the increase in the number of bits per wafer. Therefore, the key takeaway from the announcement is that the 1y nm technology and the new in-cell data sensing system enable Samsung to shrink die size and fit more DRAM dies on a single 300-mm wafer. Meanwhile, the overall 30% productivity gain results in lower per-die costs at the same yield and cycle time (this does not mean that the IC costs are 30% lower though) and increases DRAM bit output.

The in-cell data sensing system and air spacers will be used by Samsung in other upcoming types of DRAM, including DDR5, LPDDR5, High Bandwidth Memory 3.0, and GDDR6.

Also at Tom's Hardware.

Previously: Samsung Announces "10nm-Class" 8 Gb DRAM Chips

Related: Samsung Announces 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAM, Could Enable Smartphones With 6 GB of RAM
Samsung Announces 8 GB DRAM Package for Mobile Devices
Samsung's 10nm Chips in Mass Production, "6nm" on the Roadmap
Samsung Increases Production of 8 GB High Bandwidth Memory 2.0 Stacks
IC Insights Predicts Additional 40% Increase in DRAM Prices


Original Submission

Oppo Likely to Release the First Smartphone With 10 GB of RAM 34 comments

OPPO Find X to get 10GB RAM version, spotted at TENAA

There have been rumors of a 10GB RAM smartphone in development for a while now. Vivo's yet unreleased Xplay7 was rumored to come with 10GB RAM and the ASUS ROG Phone was also supposed to come with 10GB of RAM. It appears OPPO will be the first to launch a 10GB RAM phone judging by an updated TENAA listing of the Find X.

The Find X originally comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage but Chinese leaker @UniverseIce shared a photo of an updated listing that shows the Find X will get a new 10GB RAM + 256GB ROM model.

We were able to confirm that the leak is genuine as the full TENAA specs listing for the Find X (PAFM00 model) now has a 10GB RAM variant. The update to the listing was made yesterday. The rest of the specs will remain the same as the other variant.

TENAA is China's phone regulatory body.

Also at The Verge, Engadget, Fossbytes, and BGR.

Related: Samsung Announces 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAM, Could Enable Smartphones With 6 GB of RAM
Samsung Announces 8 GB DRAM Package for Mobile Devices


Original Submission

Samsung Begins Mass Producing 12 GB DRAM Packages for Smartphones 9 comments

Samsung Begins Mass Production of 12 GB LPDDR4X for Smartphones

Samsung announced late on Wednesday that it had started volume production of 12 GB LPDDR4X-4266 memory for high-end smartphones. The chip is currently the highest-density DRAM for mobile applications. The first smartphone to use Samsung's 12 GB LPDDR4X DRAM package will be the company's own Galaxy S10+ handset formally announced last month.

Samsung's 12 GB LPDDR4X package integrates six 16 Gb memory devices featuring a 4266 MT/s data transfer rate at 1.1 Volts and produced using the company's second-generation '10nm-class' process technology (also known as 1y-nm). The 12 GB memory module is 1.1 mm tall, which is a bit higher than standard quad-die LPDDR4X packages (which are thinner than 1 mm), but Samsung has managed to incorporate the device into its latest premium smartphone.

Were the previously announced 12 GB DRAM smartphones using two packages instead of this one thick package?

Related: Samsung Announces 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAM, Could Enable Smartphones With 6 GB of RAM
Samsung Announces 8 GB DRAM Package for Mobile Devices
SK Hynix Announces 8 GB LPDDR4x DRAM Package for Mobile Devices
Oppo Likely to Release the First Smartphone With 10 GB of RAM
Xiaomi Announces Smartphones with 10 GB of RAM
Lenovo Announces a Smartphone With Up to 12 GB of RAM


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:09AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:09AM (#234472) Journal

    Oh cool, now FaceSpace, Amazon, Netflix, Google!, the NSA and the rest can track even more of our activities.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:42AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:42AM (#234478) Journal

    iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will probably have 2 GB of RAM, up from 1 GB just last year.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/07/02/leaked-foxconn-document-backs-12mp-camera-2gb-of-ram-for-iphone-6s [appleinsider.com]

    All other things being equal, is a flagship smartphone with 6 GB of faster RAM that consumes less power better than 4 GB? Why wouldn't it be (other than a small price bump)?

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    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheRaven on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:48AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:48AM (#234582) Journal
      It's now after the keynote, but the tech specs page for the new phone conspicuously avoids mentioning RAM (or core count for the CPU). The main issue with RAM in mobile devices is power consumption. DRAM needs regular refreshes and is a constant power drain. Some RAM chips allow banks to be turned off, so the OS can disable the RAM when it's not in use, but that's quite a difficult call to make (do you flush the buffer cache and power down RAM? If you do, then you're going to be doing a lot of flash writes and then reads later, and if the device is only on standby for a short time then this will not be a net win).
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      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday September 10 2015, @12:42PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday September 10 2015, @12:42PM (#234621) Journal

        The Foxconn document from July got the camera details right, so it should also be right about the 2 GB of RAM.

        Apple A8 has 2 cores. Apple is known for making its mobile processors more powerful than other ARM chips, despite lower core counts. They also add less cores to new chips. So they may add a third core to the A9.

        iPhone 6/6 Plus has 1 GB LPDDR3 RAM, so Apple could move to LPDDR4 for the new phones and save power, even when doubling to 2 GB.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:56PM (#234651)

        The main issue with RAM in mobile devices is power consumption. DRAM needs regular refreshes and is a constant power drain.

        Is SRAM less power hungry (because it doesn't need refresh)? If so, maybe it would make more sense to put SRAM in the phone. Sure, you'll not get 6GB of it in your phone, but if in return you get a longer battery life time, the tradeoff would probably be worth if (moreover AFAIK SRAM is faster than DRAM, so that's yet another advantage).

        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday September 10 2015, @03:48PM

          by TheRaven (270) on Thursday September 10 2015, @03:48PM (#234703) Journal

          Is SRAM less power hungry (because it doesn't need refresh)?

          SRAM doesn't need refresh, but it is still volatile memory. DRAM is a leaky capacitor and so needs a refresh to charge the capacitor. SDRAM synchronises the refresh cycle with the read/write cycle to minimise latency. SRAM is just an array of flip-flops and is more power-hungry than DRAM. It's also a lot less dense (and area roughly corresponds to power, when talking about this kind of circuit).

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by kurenai.tsubasa on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:54AM

    by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:54AM (#234480) Journal

    How does this compare to the 32GB microSD-cards that I load my music on to (FLAC, probably unnecessary, but why not, they only cost ten bucks at Walgreens)?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Tork on Thursday September 10 2015, @02:09AM

      by Tork (3914) on Thursday September 10 2015, @02:09AM (#234485)
      Can't tell if this was a really really dumb question or a very good satire about Slashdot.
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    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @02:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @02:09PM (#234659)

      Well, it of course depends on the used metric. Let's see:

      Retention time after power off:
      LPDDR4 DRAM loses its content immediately, microSD keeps it for years, if not decades. Winner: microSD.
      Speed:
      LPDDR4 DRAM is orders of magnitude faster than your microSD. Winner: DRAM.
      Cost per Gigabyte:
      While I don't know the price of LPDDR4 DRAM, you can safely expect it to be much higher than the same amount of microSD memory. Winner: microSD.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hash14 on Thursday September 10 2015, @04:12AM

    by hash14 (1102) on Thursday September 10 2015, @04:12AM (#234518)

    The key failing of modern phones isn't the lack of RAM - it's the fact that they don't have an interface. Prior to Steve Jobs fucking everything up, phones had physical keypads which made it possible to actually do things with them, like writing emails or even performing remote administration of a server. Now that we live in an age of aesthetics over utility, we're not allowed to do those nice things because these devices don't accept input anymore (unless you want to settle for shitty speech-to-text and other such systems which never work) - yes, it would be _nice_ if we could do those things once more, but we can't find a pretty way to package it so forget about it. The screens are gorgeous, but that only allows you to consume what they feed you[1]. Ultimately, all I have really found worth doing on these things, aside from making phone calls, is reading some RSS feeds or maybe opening a webpage. I can't think of anything else that they really enable (aside from government surveillance), and I don't think 50x more RAM is going to fix that.

    [1] Oh right - that's all they're supposed to do in the first place.

    • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Thursday September 10 2015, @04:13AM

      by hash14 (1102) on Thursday September 10 2015, @04:13AM (#234519)

      I'll point out though that boosting memory capacities of servers and other computers though does sound quite compelling....

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @05:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @05:55AM (#234544)

      bluetooth keyboard

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:50PM (#234648)

        I tried it. But apart from the fact that now I can't get the blue colour off my teeth, my phone didn't recognize my typing. Oh, and my fingers went all wet. Not to mention that it simply looks silly if you try to type on your teeth. ;-)

      • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:53PM

        by hash14 (1102) on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:53PM (#234927)

        Security, unless you're okay with everyone in the room knowing your SSH hosts and root passwords...

        • (Score: 2) by Urlax on Thursday October 01 2015, @07:24AM

          by Urlax (3027) on Thursday October 01 2015, @07:24AM (#243892)

          Since when can bluetooth be sniffed and remotely decrypted?

          a lot of android phones have usb OTG as well as all cheap china tablets, so you can connect a usb keyboard to be safe.

          • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:11PM

            by hash14 (1102) on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:11PM (#244229)

            As far as known vulnerabilities, here's an overview of some (see section 4.1): http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=911133 [nist.gov] - it's basically what you would expect. Old protocols are no longer secure and susceptible to spoofing and MITM, repetition attacks, brute force vulnerabilities, denial of service (not decryption, but still a pain), leaking privacy information, etc. Some of the scarier ones include

            20: negotiable key lengths (down to 1 byte!!!)
            19: unknown strength of PRNGs.
            8: key pairs may be static or otherwise weakly generated

            Then you can go through section 4.4 and read a dictionary's worth of recommended practices and at that point, it's just not worth the headache anymore.

            But just in a more general sense, Bluetooth is very complex and there are dozens of potential vectors. You have to trust that the handshake protocols are secure, the firmware is secure, the drivers are secure, and the vendors' implementations of all these protocols and specifications are secure. And anyone who knows anything about how the tech industry works knows that security is never anything more than an afterthought (or even worse, just straight out compromised in the name of ease of use). Just look at how many wireless routers, smartphones, and operating systems are vulnerable, and you also have to make sure that your devices are constantly kept up-to-date as well, and you need to just pray that there are no backdoors in there anyways. And just look how innocuous these attacks can be - stagefright, for example, just requires sending a text to a vulnerable device and you'll never know that you've already been pwned!

            Simply put, there's just way too much that could go wrong, and I don't want to trust my servers' security on the hundreds of things that could go wrong. We already have tools like aircrack for wireless networks, so who knows what's available for cracking slightly more obscure protocols like Bluetooth on the darknet. Bearing in mind that all communication between the keyboard and the device is _outside_ of any client-server encryption and you should expect that everything this exposed in my personal opinion....

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:48AM (#234581)

      Are you suggesting we can't write e-mails or administer servers from phones because we lost superfluous hardware buttons? I'm kinda lost for words.

      • (Score: 2) by rondon on Thursday September 10 2015, @02:34PM

        by rondon (5167) on Thursday September 10 2015, @02:34PM (#234677)

        I don't think superfluous means what you think it means, as the gp definitely considered them important to the function.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:50PM (#234926)

          Superfluous definition, being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.

          I think hardware keyboards on a phone are surplus to requirements when you can have a (larger) screen that can also display a keyboard when needed. Fair enough?

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday September 10 2015, @05:54PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday September 10 2015, @05:54PM (#234776)

        Try to send command-line instructions using swype and autocorrect...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10 2015, @09:40PM (#234922)

          I have. Touchscreens can actually make it easier to enter some special characters, but to be fair it may depend on the respective keyboards you're comparing.

    • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Friday September 11 2015, @01:16PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday September 11 2015, @01:16PM (#235219) Homepage

      Prior to Steve Jobs fucking everything up, phones had physical keypads which made it possible to actually do things with them, like writing emails

      It's possible to actually do those things with a software keyboard, too. There are pros and cons for both, and no need for such hyperbole.

      Physical keyboards didn't die a death just because Steve Jobs ruled against them from his curvaceous white throne.

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  • (Score: 1) by kazzie on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:23PM

    by kazzie (5309) on Thursday September 10 2015, @01:23PM (#234637)

    Is that faster than the curiously high bandwidth LMNOPRAM I've got installed?