Samsung DRAM Chip Paves Way For 4GB Smartphones

Samsung has introduced what it calls the industry’s first 8 gigabit (Gb) memory chip suitable for mobile devices, paving the way for smartphones and tablets that use up to 4 Gigabyte (GB) of memory, double what is found in most current high-end devices.

The development should lead to faster, more responsive applications as well as higher-resolution displays, according to Samsung.

Fast interface

The product, announced over the weekend, is the first 8Gb low-power, double-data rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM memory chip, according to Samsung. Four of the chips would allow a device to run up to 4GB of random-access memory (RAM).

The chips use a memory interface that provides a data transfer rate per pin of 3,200 megabits per second (Mbps), which is twice that of the 20nm-class LPDDR3 DRAM now in mass production, according to Samsung. The result is 50 percent higher performance than the fastest chips using LPDDR3 or DDR3 memory, the company claimed. The new chip also consumes 40 percent less power than such chips at 1.1 volts, according to Samsung.

The chip is to begin shipping in 2014 and Samsung said it will be targeted to large-screen smartphones, tablets and ultra-light notebooks with UHD displays, as well as high-performance networking systems.

Most high-end smartphones and tablets currently have up to 2GB of RAM, while Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 3 has 3GB of RAM.

Next-generation Exynos chips rumoured

Samsung is also expected to announce its next generation of Exynos mobile processors shortly, at the CES exposition starting on 7 January in Las Vegas.

A recent message on the Exynos Twitter account indicated that Samsung is planning an announcement for CES, while a report from Chinese website mydrivers.com speculated that the announcement will unveil two Exynos models, the Exynos 6 and the Exynos S.

The Exynos 6 will be an eight-core processor with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing technology, while the Exynos S will use Samsung’s 64-bit core and will be one and a half times faster than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 mobile chip, according to this report.

Both are intended to challenge Apple’s A7, according to the report, with Samsung planning to use the Exynos 6 in its own Galaxy S5 smartphone and the Exynos S in the Galaxy Note 4 phone-tablet hybrid.

Samsung has elsewhere been rumoured to be planning to introduce the Galaxy S5 at CES 2014. Rumours have stated that Samsung is planning two models, one of which will have a metal body and a flexible OLED display.

LG said in August it has developed the world’s first ‘Quad HD’ LCD display, which offers the highest resolution and pixels per inch (ppi) of any smartphone screen to date and will help deal with the growing trend towards larger smartphone displays.

In October Samsung showed the world’s first curved smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Round, a day after LG announced it was starting the mass production of its own flexible AMOLED screen.

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Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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