Samsung is trumpeting the development of what it claims is the industry's first 10-nanometer class 8-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR5 DRAM, which is the latest addition to the company's premium memory chip line. This new DRAM will be find homes in upcoming 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled mobile devices, including next-generation smartphone models.
Note that 10nm class means anywhere between 10 and 20 nanometers. It's highly unlikely these are actual 10nm chips, or Samsung would just call them that. Nevertheless, it represents an advancement over Samsung's previous generation DRAM. According to Samsung, its 8Gb LPDDR5 DRAM has a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits per second (Mb/s), which is 1.5 times as fast the mobile DRAM used in the current crop of flagship phones.
This increased data rate pays real-world dividends—it only takes a second to send 51.2 gigabytes (GB) of data. That is the equivalent of 14 Full HD 1080p video files (3.7GB each).
"This development of 8Gb LPDDR5 represents a major step forward for low-power mobile memory solutions," said Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to expand our next-generation 10nm-class DRAM lineup as we accelerate the move toward greater use of premium memory across the global landscape."
Samsung intends to offer its 10nm-class LPDDR5 DRAM in two bandwidths, including 6,400Mb/s at a 1.1 operating voltage, and 5,500Mb/s at 1.05V. The company attributes the performance bump and power savings to several architectural enhancements, such as doubling the number of memory banks (subdivisions within a DRAM cell) to 16.
"The new memory can attain a much higher speed while reducing power consumption. The 8Gb LPDDR5 also makes use of a highly advanced, speed-optimized circuit architecture that verifies and ensures the chip’s ultra-high-speed performance," Samsung explains.
The new DRAM also has a 'deep sleep mode' that cuts the power usage to approximately half the 'idle mode' of current generation LPDDR4X DRAM. All of the architectural tweaks combine to deliver up to a 30 percent reduction in power consumption. What that means for end users is potentially extended battery life in mobile devices.
Samsung did not provide a timeline for when it expects these chips to enter mass production and ultimately end up in consumer devices.