Samsung begins mass production of 16GB LPDDR5 DRAM package for smartphones
Samsung Electronics has announced that it has begun mass production of the industry’s first 16 gigabyte (GB) LPDDR5 mobile DRAM package for next-generation premium phones. This announcement comes seven months after the company’s announcement of the mass production of the first 12GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM package in July 2019. It had first announced development of 8Gb (gigabit) LPDDR5 RAM in back in July 2018. The 16GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM package is based on Samsung’s second-generation 10nm-class process technology, and features the industry’s highest performance and storage capacity. According to the company, the 16GB advancement will lead the premium mobile memory market with added capacity. This will enable enhanced 5G and AI features such as “graphic-rich gaming” and “smart photography.”
The 16GB LPDDR5 RAM’s data transfer rate is 5,500 megabits per second (Mb/s), which is approximately 1.3 times faster than the previous mobile memory, i.e., LPDDR4X, 4,266Mb/s. Samsung says that compared to an 8GB LPDDR4X package, the new DRAM delivers more than 20% energy savings while providing up to twice the capacity.
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The 16GB mobile DRAM package consists of eight 12-gigabit (Gb) chips and four 8Gb chips. Samsung notes that the 16GB capacity equips premium smartphones with twice the DRAM capacity found in many higher-end and gaming PCs today. The performance is certainly fast, and it also supports dynamic and responsive gameplay as well as ultra-high-resolution graphics on premium phones for better mobile gaming experiences, according to the company.
Samsung continues to expand production of its LPDDR5 mobile DRAM at its Pyeongtaek site. It also plans to mass-produce 16Gb (gigabit) LPDDR5 products based on third-generation 10nm-class (1z) process technology in the second half of 2020. This will be in the line with the development of a 6,400Mb/s chipset. Samsung, the world’s largest memory chip maker, didn’t hesitate to promote itself as developing “relentless innovation.” It expects this innovation to solidify its competitive edge in markets as premium mobile devices, high-end PCs, and automotive applications.
The only smartphone to feature 16GB LPDDR5 RAM so far is the top-end variant of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is itself the top-end variant of the Galaxy S20 series. In the U.S., the 16GB RAM variant costs an eye-watering $1,599. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and the Exynos 990 both feature LPDDR5 memory, while the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 features the older LPDDR4X memory. All Snapdragon 865 phone launches, therefore, have LPDDR5 RAM, which is faster than LPDDR4X. We can expect further flagship phones to follow in the footsteps of the S20 Ultra. The Galaxy Note 20’s top-end model can be expected to feature 16GB RAM. It’s also possible for the OnePlus 8 to feature a premium 16GB RAM variant.