Samsung begins 16GB LPDDR5 RAM production

Written by Jennifer Allen

February 25, 2020 | 13:00

Tags: #16gb-lpddr5 #samsung-galaxy-s20-ultra

Companies: #samsung

Samsung has started work on mass producing 16GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM for its Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone.

In an industry-first, the 16GB LPDDR5 chips aim to boost the potential of smartphones massively. Their added capacity is designed to offer enhanced 5G and AI features with a focus on better graphics within gaming, along with smarter photography features. Essentially, the two things that Samsung has been focusing on all along with its smartphone development. 

In a statement, Cheol Choi, senior VP of memory sales and marketing at Samsung, explained, "Samsung has been committed to bringing memory technologies to the cutting edge in allowing consumers to enjoy amazing experiences through their mobile devices. We are excited to stay true to that commitment with our new, top-of-the-line mobile solution for global device manufacturers.

The 16GB LPDDR5 chips offer data transfer rates of 5,500 megabits per second (MB/s) which works out as roughly 1.3 times faster than previous mobile memory - LPDDR4X which provided speeds of 4,266 Mb/s. Alongside that, the chips also offer more than 20 percent energy savings compared to 8GB LPDDR4X which should come in handy for smartphones that are often somewhat limited by their battery capacity. 

The 16GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM package consists of 8 12-gigabit (Gb) chips and 4 8Gb chips, meaning your smartphone will typically have twice the DRAM capacity that many laptops and gaming PCs provide. Is it overkill? Potentially for some users, but it won't stop people with the budget for a premium smartphone from splashing out. 

As production expands at Samsung's Pyeongtaek site, the company plans to mass-produce 16GB LPDDR5 products based on third-generation 10nm-class process technology in the second half of this year, with a view to moving onto a 6,400 Mb/s chipset. 

Samsung certainly isn't slowing down here given it previously worked on 12GB mobile DRAM only back in September. It will have to keep an eye on world developments though. It was only this week that one of its factories in South Korea had to close due to a confirmed case of coronavirus. Such developments could be an issue when it comes to the race to the top for smartphone manufacturing. 

Interested in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra when it launches next month? Don't forget it's priced at a rather alarming £1,199. 


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