Samsung revealed July 16 that it has successfully developed the industry’s first 10 nanometer-class, 8-gigabit LPDDR5 (Low-Power, Double-Data-Rate) DRAM (dynamic random access memory). This represents a substantial advancement for the 5G connectivity segment and marks a jump ahead of ARM’s and Qualcomm’s 5G chips.
Since bringing the first 8Gb LPDDR4 to mass production in 2014, Samsung said it has been setting the stage to transition to the LPDDR5 standard for use in upcoming 5G and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered mobile applications.
The newly-developed 8Gb LPDDR5 is the latest addition to Samsung’s premium DRAM lineup, which includes 10nm-class 16Gb GDDR6 DRAM (in volume production since December 2017) and 16Gb DDR5 DRAM (developed in February).
“This development of 8Gb LPDDR5 represents a major step forward for low-power mobile memory solutions,” Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung, said in a media advisory. “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.”
High Data Movement Rate
The 8Gb LPDDR5 boasts a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits per second (Mb/s), which Samsung claims is 1.5 times as fast as the mobile DRAM chips used in current flagship mobile devices (LPDDR4X, 4266Mb/s). With the increased transfer rate, the new LPDDR5 can send 51.2GB of data, or approximately 14 full-HD video files (3.7GB each), in a second.
The 10nm-class LPDDR5 DRAM will be available in two bandwidths – 6,400Mb/s at a 1.1 operating voltage and 5,500Mb/s at 1.05V – making it versatile mobile memory for next-generation smartphones and automotive systems.
Samsung said this performance advancement has been made possible through several architectural enhancements. By doubling the number of memory “banks” – subdivisions within a DRAM cell – from eight 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, the company said.
Lowers Voltage According to Speed of Processor
To maximize power savings, the 10nm-class LPDDR5 has been engineered to lower its voltage in accordance with the operating speed of the corresponding application processor, when in active mode.
More technical information: The new chip also has been configured to avoid overwriting cells with “0” values. In addition, the new LPDDR5 chip will offer a “deep sleep mode,” which cuts the power usage to approximately half the “idle mode” of the current LPDDR4X DRAM. Thanks to these low-power features, the 8Gb LPDDR5 DRAM is expected to offer power-consumption reductions of up to 30 percent, maximizing mobile device performance and extending the battery life of smartphones.
The LPDDR5 will be able to power AI and machine learning applications, and will be UHD-compatible for mobile devices worldwide, Samsung said.
Samsung, together with leading global chip vendors, has completed functional testing and validation of a prototype 8GB LPDDR5 DRAM package, which is comprised of eight 8Gb LPDDR5 chips. Samsung said it plans to begin mass production of its next-generation DRAM lineups (LPDDR5, DDR5 and GDDR6) immediately and according to demands of global customers.