Today Samsung Electronics announced that they have begun mass production of the memory industry's first 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAM on their 20nm manufacturing process. These new chips offer 50% greater density than Samsung's existing 8Gb chips.

The production of 12Gb chips opens up the possibility of smartphones and tablets with 6GB of RAM using a four 12Gb chip DRAM package, as well as 3GB using just two chips in a package. A 6GB package would also only take up the same amount of space as existing 3GB packages which use 6Gb chips. The new 12Gb chips also end up being very slightly more than 30% faster than their 8Gb chips, with a per-pin speed of 4266Mbps which would give 34Gbps of bandwidth over a 64bit bus. With Samsung beginning mass production of this new memory it's only a matter of time before we start to see more devices move from 2GB to 3GB and from 4GB to 6GB of RAM.



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  • frostyfiredude - Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - link

    Sure, 4GB, no argument there. But 6GB will be excessive for some time, gaming will still be internally rendered well below native resolution because of the compute and bandwidth bottlenecks. Reply
  • nikaldro - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    More ram is never too much (within sane amounts).
    People complained about core count, yet it's proved that even browsers can use 8 cores.
  • frostyfiredude - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    It's a matter of cost, the benefit simply won't be worth the 10-15$ it will cost the OEM at this point. More cores is quite different, core count doesn't have a direct relationship with cost so it's much more a performance balancing act between workloads. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Thursday, September 10, 2015 - link

    Mobile games often can't use the native resolution. They'll render smaller and then upscale. Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    In high end pricing is not such a huge problem, RAM prices have dropped a lot this year, 4GB LPDDR4 might be getting close to 30$ now. In sub 150$ phones having 3GB is more of a BOM problem and the ecosystem should be paying more attention to memory management in general.
    NAND speeds are evolving , the fastest claimed eMMC speeds i've seen so far are from Hynix with 780MB/s and 160MB/s read/write and random read/write at 32,000 IOPS and 17,000 IOPS - we'll see how it does in practice.
    What might be a problem with 6GB is power,wish we had some info on that.
  • frostyfiredude - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    There are still BoM targets in the high end, companies won't or atleast shouldn't arbitrarily put 6GB in a device until there is a need. It'll be 10-15$ between 4 and 6GB this year, that's not a minor bump at volume, Note5 being 6GB would be nearly 0.5B$ profit lost right there if they didn't also increase the retail price. Reply
  • jonminchoi - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    frostyfiredude is correct.

    Think of it this way. When you are selling 100+ million devices over its retail life, decreasing the per-device profit by even just 50 cents will mean a reduction of 50+ million dollars in overall profit.

    And as you know, Apple has no problem selling millions of its devices regardless of how much RAM is in their devices.
  • jjj - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    In the Note 5 you got 4GB at 30+$, the SoC+modem at 50+, the screen at 70+$.
    Some 150$ phones have a 15$ SoC, a 20$ 1080p display and 3GB of RAM and that's why there RAM is the bigger problem.
    Also keep in mind that we won't actually see 6GB in many phones or all that soon and by that time RAM prices will be significantly lower. Besides, what i said is "not such a huge problem"so don't read it as no problem at all.
  • jjj - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    Ofc there are but it's not a huge problem since as a % of the BOM it doesn't go up by a lot , keep in mind that we are unlikely to see phones with 6GB this year and maybe very few next year The RAM content is a much bigger problem bellow high end where ,as a % of the BOM, it gets crazy and sometimes the RAM costs more than the display or the SoC. Reply
  • frostyfiredude - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - link

    You continue to ignore that there is no immediate need for 6GB; even if next year 6GB costs the same as 4GB does today the price of 4GB will too have decreased proportionately. As I originally said, the best course would be to put the savings elsewhere to give some real product improvements like better NAND. Decrease the % BoM that RAM consumes as it's increasingly cheap to have enough. Reply

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