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posted by martyb on Sunday January 15 2017, @08:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the Samsung's-been-a-little-distracted-lately dept.

Back in October, we reported that Samsung announced an 8 GB LPDDR4-4266 DRAM package for smartphones and other mobile devices. Now, SK Hynix has announced an 8 GB LPDDR4x-4266 DRAM package for smartphones. LPDDR4x is a proposed variant to LPDDR4 that is identical, except that the I/O voltage is reduced from 1.1 V to 0.6 V. It is expected to cut the power consumption of the DRAM sub-system by 18-20% (compared to 8 GB LPDDR4-4266).

Oddly enough, Samsung proposed the LPDDR4x variant yet it looks like SK Hynix will beat them to the market:

The first application processor to support the new type of memory is MediaTek's Helio P20 that was announced nearly a year ago and the initial devices powered by the chip are likely to hit the market in 1H 2017. Another notable SoC to support LPDDR4X is Qualcomm's new flagship Snapdragon 835, which was announced in November and detailed earlier this month. Smartphones featuring this chip will not show up for a while, but MWC [(Mobile World Congress) is] just around the corner which lends nicely to various handset announcements.

The 8 GB (64 Gb) LPDDR4X package stacks four 16 Gb DRAM parts that feature a 4266 MT/s data transfer rate and provide up to 34.1 GB/s of bandwidth when connected to an application processor using a 64-bit memory bus. For its 8 GB LPDDR4X solution SK Hynix uses a new 12 mm × 12.7 mm BGA package, which is 30% smaller compared to standard LPDDR4 stacks that come in 15 mm × 15 mm form-factor. SK Hynix's 8 GB LPDDR4X solution has a thickness of less than 1 mm to enable PoP stacking with a mobile application processor or a UFS NAND storage device.

The lineup will eventually be expanded to include packages with less than 8 GB of memory and lower data rates such as 3733 MT/s.

Original Submission

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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.

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

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

Samsung Announces Development of LPDDR5X Memory 14 comments

Samsung Announces LPDDR5X DRAM for Smartphones; 1.3x Faster Than LPDDR5 With Speeds up to 8.5Gbps

Samsung today officially announced LPDDR5X DRAM chips for smartphones and other applications. Compared to the LPDDR5 standard, the new chips bring increased speeds, and it will be no surprise that we will see them in action in several 2022 flagship handsets.

[...] In contrast to LPDDR5's 6.4Gbps maximum bandwidth, LPDDR5X can achieve 1.3-times the performance with processing speeds that go up to 8.5Gbps. Samsung has used its 14nm technology to mass produce the next-generation DRAM chips, and it will be advantageous for portable devices too because the new standard is 20 percent more energy-efficient than LPDDR5.

The press release says that 16Gb LPDDR5X chips will enable 64 GB memory packages, "accommodating increasing demand for higher-capacity mobile DRAM worldwide." In other words, Samsung is planning to put 32 dies in a single package, and eventually stick 64 gigabytes of memory in smartphones (or tablets, or laptops). Recently, Samsung has been making 16 GB packages with only 12 or 8 dies:

The 16Gb LPDDR5 can build a 16GB package with only eight chips, whereas its 1y-based predecessor requires 12 chips (eight 12Gb chips and four 8Gb chips) to provide the same capacity.

Also at AnandTech.

Previously: SK Hynix Announces 8 GB LPDDR4x DRAM Package for Mobile Devices
Samsung Announces LPDDR5 DRAM Prototype Before Specification is Finalized
Samsung Announces Mass Production of 16 GB LPDDR5 DRAM Packages
SK Hynix Begins Production of 18 GB LPDDR5 Memory... for Smartphones

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15 2017, @01:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15 2017, @01:24PM (#454070)

    ... why, in 2017, many models of laptop still have 4GB or 8GB of RAM and very few models have 16GB on the self. A lot are hard limited to 12GB total.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday January 15 2017, @08:12PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday January 15 2017, @08:12PM (#454156) Journal
      1. ChromeOS on Chromebooks needing much less RAM to operate (although using one with only 2 GB can be annoying).
      2. Windows 8 and 10 needing the same or less RAM to operate compared to predecessors.
      3. Electronics industry focusing attention on premium smartphones (although margins are beginning to decline) rather than low-margin laptops. 8 GB of RAM smartphones are around.
      4. The switch to DDR4. This reason is outdated because both DDR3 and DDR4 prices have dropped considerably as the DRAM industry has created oversupply. However, there may be specific oversupply of lower capacity 4 GB sticks, leading the OEMs to release systems with 12 GB of RAM instead of 16.
      5. Cost savings by using just 1 stick of DRAM and an empty slot or only one memory slot. Thinner systems like Ultrabooks and Chromebooks may have just a single memory slot and the memory might even be soldered in. This means that the manufacturer would have a choice of providing 8 GB or 16 GB, and they will usually just put in 8 GB since 16 GB sticks have a slight premium.

      Although I've seen systems with a hard 12 GB limit, I think 8 or 16 are more common. 32 GB might be getting more common but I haven't kept track lately.

      Systems with 1x8GB and an empty slot are easy and cheap to upgrade. 1x4GB + 1x8GB leaves you holding a useless 4 GB stick if you upgrade to 16 GB...

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []