SK Hynix announces 8Gb LPDDR3, world’s first, 4GB RAM phones later this year?

June 10, 2013
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SK Hynix RAM memory chipImage Source: Tech Asia

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.

Show Press Release

SK Hynix Inc. (or ‘the Company’, www.skhynix.com) announced that it has developed the world’s first 8Gb(Gigabit) LPDDR3(Low Power DDR3) using its advanced 20nm class process technology. This product is a top-performance mobile memory solution which features high density, ultrahigh speed and low power consumption.

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.

Comments

  • milksop held

    How much is the maximum ram android can have, is it 4 GB?

    • Spaine Carinan

      As for current SoCs, Yes… Need to move up to 64bit to be able to use more than 4…

      • Steve

        Luckily ARM has a 64bit chip set. Should see consumer market in about a year.

        • Ivan Myring

          A57? Or am I wrong?

          • Evan Wickes

            ur right!! a53’s (reduced power) & a57’s (increased performance)…it’s the next big.LITTLE architecture ARM is developing. it would be nice to have this w/ 4gb min.

          • Steve

            Indeed

          • Steve

            Indeed

  • http://Nepallica.com Pretush

    too much spec war.
    probably comes with 4gb of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

    • milksop held

      Can’t have too much spec wars

  • Steve

    Seems like this could be used for a laptop. The speeds would be fine and the power savings would be okay.

  • iwod

    There is battery implication too. While it is using less energy compared to previous 2GB, bumping to 4GB will uses more. There is a balance between power, energy efficiency and speed.

  • Allan

    There won’t be phones with more than 2GB of ram if SOCs don’t become 64-bit. Unless I’m wrong and ARM works differently than everyone else.

    It’s like putting 8GB of DDR3 in an ancient computer with a 32-bit CPU and OS. It’s only going to use 2GB. As far as I know, Snapdragon, Exynos, Tegra and OMAP aren’t going to be stepping into 64-bit territory for some time.

    • Stelio

      I think this is why AMD is planning on stepping into the scene. They could really take mobile by storm if they play their cards right.

      • Allan

        AMD isn’t going to make an impact if Intel can’t. They’re both companies centred around x86 architecture, and so far it hasn’t been anything but a fustercluck of compatibility issues.

        I must correct myself by saying that 32-bit CPUs handle only up to 4GB. still, Apple’s 64-bit Cyclone core isn’t significant in any way because most instructions will still be executed in aArch32 if I’m not mistaken, and it will remain that way as long as the iPhone 4S, 5 and 5S exist.

        Intel is making a step by preparing its bay trail CPUs to 64-bit by prepping a compatible kernel. Bay Trail T is inherently compatible with 64-bit if we are to believe Intel.