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Samsung's first LPDDR5 DRAM memory chips revealed

Samsung designed the latest LPDDR5 memory chips with 5G and AI applications in mind. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung designed the latest LPDDR5 memory chips with 5G and AI applications in mind. (Source: Samsung)
The new LPDDR5 memory modules will be featured in next year's handhelds like the Galaxy S10, which will also bring support for 5G connections and improved AI applications. Samsung claims that the new chips are 50% faster and need 30% less power compared to current LPDDR4 chips. Mass production for LPDDR5 chips should begin at some point in Q3 this year.

Last month, Samsung stated that its LPDDR5 memory chips should enter mass production some time in the second half of 2018. Now the company just informed the media that fabrication, functional testing and JEDEC validation have been completed for the world’s first 8 Gb LPDDR5 module for mobile 5G & AI applications. While Samsung is already pushing for LPDDR5 mass production, JEDEC itself did not finalize the full specifications for DDR5 and LPDDR5, but this should occur later this year.

Samsung claims that the 8 Gb LPDDR5 module yields 6.4 Gbps per pin, which translates into 25.6 GB/s bandwidth for a 32-bit bus or up to 50% increased performance over the current LPDDR4 standard. LPDDR memory chips are used in mobile devices such as handhelds and ultrabooks, which usually come with 64-bit buses, so the bandwidth can be increased to 50 GB/s. On the other hand, PC systems support 128-bit buses which can easily translate to bandwidths of up to 100 GB/s, but this will be achieved through the upcoming DDR5 modules.

The new LPDDR5 standard also brings power requirements reduced by 30%, although Samsung does not specify the exact voltages for the chips. Samsung mentions that the new chips support an improved deep sleep state that consumes half the power required by the current LPDDR4 memory modules. For ultra-low power devices like ultrabooks, OEMs will be able to opt for a 5.5 Gbps SKU that runs at 1.05 V.

Mass production for the LPDDR5 modules is expected to begin in Q3 this year, and the first consumer devices to feature them could be available around Holiday season.


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Bogdan Solca, 2018-07-17 (Update: 2018-07-17)