Wasn’t it yesterday when 4GB of memory was cutting edge for a smartphone?
Forward-looking: Samsung has begun mass production of their newest generation of LPDDR5 mobile memory chips at the world’s largest semiconductor line. Compared to their previous best, density jumps to 16Gb per chip, and performance increases by 16%. We’ll likely see phones with this technology as soon as this holiday season, packing 16GB of system memory or possibly more.
Equipped with the latest third-generation 10nm process node utilizing EUV technology, Samsung announced that the new production line in Pyeongtaek, Korea, is operational and beginning mass production of 16Gb LPDDR5 chips.
This marks the first chips to be produced at Samsung’s second line in Pyeongtaek, now the world’s largest semiconductor line. Spanning more than 128,900 square meters (over 1.3 million square feet), Samsung says that the new facility, “will serve as the key manufacturing hub for the industry’s most advanced semiconductor technologies, delivering cutting-edge DRAM followed by next-generation V-NAND and foundry solutions.”
Samsung is touting a 16% improvement in performance at up to 6,400Mb/s, compared to its previous 12Gb LPDDR5 chips (5,500Mb/s), which are currently found in many flagship mobile phones like Samsung’s own Galaxy S20 Ultra.
With the density improvement to 16Gb per chip, Samsung and other mobile device makers can now achieve an insane 16GB of memory on a phone with a compact 8-chip package. Previously, 16GB memory packages used a minimum of 12 chips using eight 12Gb and four 8Gb chips. To put in perspective how quickly Samsung has improved their memory technology, their previous 12Gb chip only started mass production in July 2019. Just one year before that, their 8Gb LPDDR5 chip debuted.
The rapid increase in density, performance, and efficiency in memory technology is remarkable. Just four years ago, 4GB of memory in a smartphone seemed excessive, and 8GB of RAM was more than enough in laptops and desktops for most uses. Now it’s up to software developers to utilize the faster and higher capacities seen today in ways the end user can appreciate.