Trying to stay ahead of the mobile industry race, Samsung has just announced a new type of DRAM or Dynamic RAM that is promised to offer higher levels of performance but also the most efficient power management. The new 8 Gigabit DRAM is Samsung’s latest jab at the new LPDDR4 category of memory chips for mobile devices.
Let’s get things clear. This is not an 8 GB (Gigabyte) RAM chip. The 8 Gb here refers to Gigabit, which would roughly translate to 125 MB. That might not sound like much, but thanks to a 20 nm manufacturing process, Samsung is able to squeeze in 1 GB, yes gigabytes, of memory in a single silicon die. Put four of those into a single chip and you’ve got a 4 GB RAM chip, which is still lots more than the current highest RAM found on commercial mobile devices, which currently stands at 3 GB.
But on mobile devices, data space isn’t the only driving factor. Due to size and battery requirements, RAM chips also need to be energy efficient. Hence each generation of Low Power Double Data Rate (LPDDR) RAM strives to achieve higher data performance at lower power costs. Most devices today are on LPDDR2 or LPDDR3, and Samsung is now announcing the the newest LPDDR4 chip, employing a Low Voltage Swing Terminal Logic interface to try to keep energy consumption down. The result is a DRAM module that has a data transfer twice as fast as current LPDDR3 chips in the market but also consumes 40 percent less energy.
Samsung has not yet revealed when and where these 8 Gigabit DRAM chips will ship but says it will be targeting mobile devices with very high resolution screens. Given the timing of the announcement, it might be possible to see this new technology at work in the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone which is expected to be announced at CES 2014 next month.