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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.

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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) <{takyon} {at} {}> 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 []