Samsung Electronics has announced the launch of the industry's first 8GB LPDDR4 mobile DRAM package. LPDDR4 stands for "low power, double data rate 4" and Samsung believe the new DRAM module will "greatly improve mobile user experiences, especially for those using Ultra HD, large-screen devices." The 8 GB module is built using a 10nm process size and contains four 16Gb LPDDR4 memory chips. Samsung introduced a 4 GB LPDDR4 DRAM module in December 2014 and this helped manufacturers offers devices with 4 GB of RAM, although there exist some devices such as the OnePlus 3 that ship with even more RAM. Samsung's specification details that their new 8GB module has a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 4,266 megabits a second, twice as fast as DDR4 DRAM used in many desktop computers, which can run at up to 2,133 Mbps. When using a 64-bit memory bus, this translates to a data bandwidth rate of over 34GB a second. Having such a high data bandwidth is important for Ultra HD resolution video, which requires significantly greater data throughput compared with lower resolution video. As the industry moves towards virtual reality, this will be increasingly important.
There are two important advantages associated with Samsung using a 10nm manufacturing process, these being low power consumption and a small size module. The new 8GB module uses "approximately the same amount of power" as the older 4GB DRAM module, which is constructed on a 20nm size. Furthermore, the new LPDDR4 8GB module fits inside a low profile (1.0mm), 15.0mm by 15.0mm square. This means that the chip may be stacked together with the device's application processor or with UFS memory, depending on the device in question. This should keep device designers happy as space is at a premium inside today's smartphones.
Samsung is at the forefront of the push to reduce the size of chipsets and memory modules, as the smaller the manufacturing size, the lower the power consumption, heat output and theoretical performance (as there is less distance for electrons to move). The company is planning to ramp up the production of its 10nm DRAM modules with plans to build other units at this size. However, for the 8GB module, the company did not announce when it would be available for manufacturers. We will let readers know if we hear when it will be available for device manufacturers.