RAM is a key piece of mobile hardware which is all too often overlooked when we talk about smartphone specifications, but it’s ever so important for our increasingly sophisticated mobile applications. We already know that Samsung is working on its own four gigabit (Gb) LPDDR3 mobile memory chips, which should offer a 30% improvement in performance and a 20% saving in energy consumption when compared to a 30nm LPDDR3 DRAM chip.
However SK Hynix appears to be one-upping the smartphone giant, as the company has been working on its own 20nm eight gigabit (the equivalent of 1GB) memory chips, which can be stacked together to provide a whopping 4GB RAM in a single package. For the sake of comparison, Samsung’s newest mobile memory chips will only offer 2GB of RAM for mobile devices.
But equally as important as the larger memory size, SK Hynix’s new RAM will be built on high-density LPDDR3 which offers a higher data transfer rate, greater bandwidth, and improved power efficiency over older designs. In terms of raw performance this new RAM will have its data transmission speed sped up to 2,133Mbps, which is a fair bit faster than the 1,600Mbps offered by existing LPDDR3 handsets such as the new Samsung Galaxy S4, and doubles the speed of older LPDDR2 memory.
According to SK Hynix’s press release, we should a high density LPDDR3 memory products with more than 2GB of memory appear in high-end mobile devices sometime in the second half of this year. Unfortunately though, mass production of these larger memory chips won’t begin until the end of the year, so we probably won’t be able to get our hands on one until sometime in the 2014.
The new products can be stacked up and realize a high density of maximum 4GB(Gigabytes, 32Gb) solution in a single package. In addition, the height of this package becomes dramatically thinner than the existing 4Gb-based one. In terms of its high density and competitive package height, it is suitable for the newest trend of the mobile applications.
The product works at 2133Mbps which surpasses 1600Mbps of existing LPDDR3 in the aspect of its data transmission speed and is the world’s fastest mobile DRAM. With a 32-bit I/O it processes up to 8.5GB of data per second in a single channel, and 17GB in a dual channel. It works at ultra low-voltage of 1.2V.
While this new LPDDR3 runs two times faster than LPDDR2, its standby power consumption decreases more than 10% compared to LPDDR2 products, therefore it satisfies both low power consumption and high performance which mobile applications highly demand.
It can be provided in various forms such as ‘PoP’(Package on Package) or being in a single package with ‘eMMC’(embedded Multi Media Card) which is installed in mobile gadgets as well as ‘On-board’ type embedded in high-end ultrabooks and tablets.
“With the development of this high density LPDDR3 using 20nm class, SK Hynix is now able to supply a top-performance product suitable for mobile devices to the market”, Senior Vice President Richard Chin, the Head of Global Sales & Marketing said. “Especially, this development has its significance since the Company has secured top-level competitiveness in mobile products by developing it simultaneously with PC DRAM using the same 20nm class process technology” he added.
Samples of this new product have been shipped to customers and the Company plans to start mass production of it at the end of this year.
High density LPDDR3 memory products over 2GB are expected to be noticeably loaded mainly on to high-end mobile devices from the second half of this year. To meet the growing needs of mobile market, SK Hynix plans to develop the most advanced technologies for the rapidly evolving mobile applications industry and will lead the market with the high performance products.