Samsung Begins Production Of First 12Gb LPDDR5 RAM For Premium 5G And AI-Powered Phones

Samsung 12Gb LPDDR5
Samsung has started mass producing high capacity 12-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR5 memory that will find its way into flagship smartphones, the company announced on Thursday. According to Samsung, the new memory chips are optimized for enabling 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence features future phones.

That is really a topical way of saying the new premium memory chips are faster than the previous generation. They are also more power efficient, using up to 30 percent less power by way of a new circuit design with enhanced clocking, training, and a low-power feature, Samsung says.

"With mass production of the 12Gb LPDDR5 built on Samsung’s latest second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) class process, we are thrilled to be supporting the timely launch of 5G flagship smartphones for our customers worldwide," said Jung-bae Lee, executive vice president of DRAM Product & Technology, Samsung Electronics. "Samsung remains committed to rapidly introducing next-generation mobile memory technologies that deliver greater performance and higher capacity, as we continue to aggressively drive growth of the premium memory market."

Note that 10nm class can mean anywhere from 10-19nm. Technically, anyway—these are not 10nm chips, or Samsung would simply call them that. Samsung has been producing 10nm class mobile memory chips since 2016.

Manufacturing node aside, Samsung says its 12Gb LPDDR5 memory can hit 5,500 megabits per second (Mbps). That is a 1.3x improvement over the previous generation LPDDR4X that is found in some of today's flagship phones. Here is a look at how performance has scaled with each new generation of mobile memory...

Samsung Mobile Memory Speeds
Source: Samsung

Samsung's tie-in to 5G and AI technologies is based on both of those leading to advanced features and functions on tomorrow's smartphones. The new 12Gb LPDDR5 memory chips that are now being mass produced will help ensure that memory is not a bottleneck as smartphones process more sophisticated tasks.

As for capacity, Samsung intends to mass produce 12-gigabyte (GB) packages later this month. Each of those packages combine eight of the 12Gb chips. In 12GB form, Samsung says its LPDDR5 memory can transfer 44GB of data (equivalent to around a dozen Full HD 1080p movies) in just 1 second.

The new memory arrives as smartphone makers start cramming more DRAM into phones. For example, Samsung's own Galaxy S10+ is available with 12GB of RAM, and the same goes for the OnePlus 7 Pro.