Samsung’s new memory chip opens the way for phones with 4GB of RAM in 2014

December 30, 2013
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samsung 8gb ram memory chip

Samsung, one of the world’s top manufacturers of memory chips, announced today the development of the industry’s first 8Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM chip. The new chip is denser, faster, and more energy efficient than current products. 

SK Hynix was the first memory maker to announce an 8Gb chip in June, but that used LPDDR3 technology, while Samsung’s chip uses the faster LPDDR4.

Samsung’s new memory chip is built on a 20-nm class process, allowing the manufacturer to reach a capacity of 1GB of RAM on a single die (8Gb = 1GB). By combining four such chips, device makers will be able to equip their products with 4GB of RAM in the near future.

The target products for the new chip are future high-end smartphone, tablets, and notebooks featuring high-density displays. WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) smartphones are expected to arrive in stores in the first part of the year, including Samsung’s own Galaxy S5 flagship. As touchscreen devices move beyond Full HD, more memory will be needed to accommodate larger files, but that’s not the only advantage of having more RAM on a mobile device. Phones and tablets with more RAM can run smoothly more apps simultaneously and cache more system files, which increases operation speeds and reduces battery consumption.

50 percent faster, 40 percent more efficient

Thanks to the smaller size of the circuitry and the use of LPDDR4 technology, the chip is also faster and consumes less energy than LPDDR3 chips. Samsung claims the new memory provides an impressive “50 percent higher performance” than the fastest LPDDR3 or DDR3 chips out there, while energy consumption is reduced by approximately 40 percent, to 1.1 volts. The data transfer speed per pin is 3,200 Mbps, double the speed of LPDDR3 chips that are now in production.

The new chip will make it to products in 2014, said Samsung. Currently, a handful of devices from Samsung, including the Galaxy Note 3, feature 3GB of RAM, but, with the expected transition to 64-bit architecture in 2014, the demand for large capacity memory modules can only increase.

Will the Samsung Galaxy S5 feature 4GB of RAM? It’s hard to say for now, though there is an unconfirmed report in Korean media that seems to suggest so. To us, it seems more likely at this point that the GS5 will come with “just” 3GB of RAM, but we’ll find out soon enough – the new flagship could be made official in less than three months.

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