from the Big-Data-in-a-small-package dept.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Boasting a FHD+ AMOLED display with a stunning 93% screen-to-body ratio, the Mi Mix 3 also packs a powerful 2.8GHz Snapdragon 845 processor into its unique frame, along with the option of 6GB, 8GB or a whopping 10GB of RAM.
Those after the 10GB model will have to track down the 'Forbidden City' limited edition, which sports traditional Chinese styling, a 10W wireless Qi charger and a collectible statue.
All of the Mi Mix 3 phones will be exclusive to the Chinese market for now. The 10 GB version is priced at RMB 4,999 ($720).
Xiaomi also announced a gaming phone with up to 10 GB of RAM, the Black Shark Helo.
While Lenovo continues to push the Motorola brand in the West, it's also been busy doing its own thing back in China. Just last month, the company brought us the Z5 Pro all-screen slider phone which, to our surprise, packed mid-tier specs to woo the budget-conscious consumers. That's all well and good, but surely such a special form factor deserves the best specs available, right? This is where the new Z5 Pro GT comes in.
Announced at the Beijing event today, this new Android phone comes loaded with up to 12GB of RAM -- a new record for smartphones -- along with up to 512GB of storage. It's also the second smartphone confirmed to feature Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 855 chipset, though unlike OnePlus' yet-to-be-named flagship device, Lenovo's slider won't be packing 5G radio.
[...] Despite being the first 12GB RAM smartphone, the Z5 Pro GT won't be available for pre-order until January 15th next year, ahead of the official launch on the 24th. Prices range from 2,698 yuan or about $390 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage version, all the way to 4,398 yuan or about $640 for the 12GB RAM + 512GB storage top model.
You know what's next. 16 GB.
After the LPDDR4X standard, Samsung is ready to take mobile computing to the next plateau, as the Korean giant has announced that mass production of the industry's first 12-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR5 mobile DRAM, a component that has been optimized for 5G and AI features for future smartphones.
Additionally, Samsung plans on mass producing 12-gigabyte (GB) LPDDR5 packages later this month, which each package combining eight of the 12Gb chips. This reveals that future premium devices will demand the best when it comes to faster, more efficient memory, and Samsung wants to be ahead of the curve in both supply and demand.
Data rate will be 5,500 MT/s, compared to 4,266 MT/s for LPDDR4X, with up to 30% less power consumption than LPDDR4X. Future LPDDR5 chips could hit 6,400 MT/s.
Samsung plans to start producing 16Gb LPDDR5 chips next year. Smartphones with 16 GB of DRAM are sure to follow.
Samsung has announced that it will kick off mass production of the world's first 16GB LPDDR5 RAM package for future smartphones. Last year, the Korean giant stated that it started mass production of 12GB LPDDR5 RAM. For 2020, Samsung has taken that production dial to the next phase and claims that the new RAM packages will enable users to experience enhanced 5G and AI features ranging from graphic-rich gaming and smart photography.
According to the company, the data transfer rate for the 16GB LPDDR5 [package] is 5500Mb/s (megabits per second), making it significantly faster than the previous-generation LPDRR4X RAM package, which peaks out at 4266Mb/s. That's not the only benefit of using these chips, because compared to an 8GB LPDDR4X package, the new mobile DRAM can deliver more than 20 percent power savings while offering twice the memory capacity.
16 GB DRAM packages could also be used in single board computers and other compact systems. For example, the BCM2711 SoC used in the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B can theoretically address up to 16 GB of memory.
Previously: Samsung Announces 8 GB DRAM Package for Mobile Devices
Samsung Announces LPDDR5 DRAM Prototype Before Specification is Finalized
Samsung Begins Mass Producing 12 GB DRAM Packages for Smartphones
Samsung Mass Producing LPDDR5 DRAM (12 Gb x 8 for 12 GB Packages)
Get Ready for Smartphones with 16 GB of RAM
Android phone makers will continue to push the limits of hardware specifications, and from the looks of it, SK Hynix will lend out more than just a helping hand. The memory manufacturer today announced that it has started mass production of 18GB LPDDR5 RAM chips for flagship smartphones, meaning that premium handsets touting more memory than notebooks will become a commonplace.
SK Hynix claims that its 18GB LPDDR5 RAM for smartphones can operate up to 6,400Mbps, making it around 20 percent faster than the previous-generation LPDDR5 RAM, which could run up to 5,500Mbps. The manufacturer also mentions that it has supplied ASUS with these DRAM chips for the upcoming ROG Phone 5 flagship. Keep in mind that during a specifications leak, the ROG Phone 5 was spotted with the aforementioned RAM count.
Why does a smartphone need 18 GB of memory instead of the previous 16 GB? From the press release:
"This product will improve the processing speed and image quality by expanding the data temporary storage space, as the capacity increases compared to the previous 16GB product," an official from the company said.
So we will see smartphones with 18 GB of RAM, or perhaps smartphones or laptops with 16/32 GB of error correction code (ECC) LPDDR5 memory.
Previously: Samsung Begins Mass Producing 12 GB DRAM Packages for Smartphones
Samsung Mass Producing LPDDR5 DRAM (12 Gb x 8 for 12 GB Packages)
Get Ready for Smartphones with 16 GB of RAM
Samsung Announces Mass Production of 16 GB LPDDR5 DRAM Packages