It’s almost unbelievable that, just three years ago, we were still discussing the future benefits of the then new 64-bit mobile processors. But by next year, we might already be seeing smartphones and tablets with a whopping 8 GB of RAM inside. That will be thanks in no small part to Samsung’s new silicon that packs 8 GB of DRAM in a single tiny package, utilizes the fastest LPDDR4 technology, and boasts of the space and energy savings of a 10 nm process.
Older mobile processors, particularly those released in early 2014 and prior, only used the 32-bit CPU architecture and was therefore technically limited to at most 4 GB of RAM. But even after the advent of 64-bit CPUs, very few actually went beyond that limit, going as far as 6 GB. It seemed almost ironic that Samsung, one of the biggest makers of memory chips, didn’t jump on that train early on. Now it seems that Samsung will, instead, be jumping directly from 4 to 8 GB by next year.
Aside from cramming 8 GB in a single silicon, Samsung’s new chips boast of a few properties as well. For one, LPDDR4 is currently the fastest type of low power memory in the mobile market. Samsung compares LPDDR4 with the PC-class DDR4 RAM and claims to have twice the speed, operatin at 4,266 Mbps, versus the PC’s 2,133 Mbps.
Utilizing the 10 nm class manufacturing process also promises that the chips are more efficient, in performance, power draw, and space. Measuring only 15 x 15 x 1 mm, this DRAM can be stacked above or under other chips, like internal storage or even a mobile processor, making room for other pieces on the motherboard.
8 or even 16 GB RAM on laptops is no longer rare, but mobile devices, even tablets, are not as gifted. Samsung envisions that its 8 GB LPDDR4 DRAM will help push the envelope of what such devices will be capable of, including runing virtual machines or supporting VR features. No timetable has been given, but these chips are likely to ship out to device makers end of the year to prepare for next year’s generation of mobile devices.