Samsung’s new 12Gb DRAM modules allow for smartphones with 6GB of RAM

Apple logoSamsung has begun mass production of the industry's first 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAM dies for mobile devices, fabricated on its 20nm manufacturing process. The new chips, which offer a 50 percent greater density than existing 8Gb dies, will allow manufacturers to offer mobile devices with more RAM than a mainstream laptop: 6GB, with four 12Gb dies in a single DRAM chip package.

Phones like Samsung's own Galaxy Edge 6+ currently top out at 4GB, with 3GB being more common, even on high-end devices. Aside from increasing the amount of memory, the higher density of Samsung's new 12Gb memory chips mean that devices with 3GB of RAM would only need to use two stacked memory dies instead of four, saving precious millimetres of Z-height.

Apple iPad Pro

Samsung says its new 12Gb chips are also 30 percent faster than their 8Gb counterparts, with a per-pin speed of 4266Mbps, resulting in 34Gbps of bandwidth over a 64-bit bus. Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was released last November, introduced support for 64-bit architectures and greater than 3GB of RAM. Despite this, few phones have actually ended up sporting more than 3GB.

At the moment, it's questionable whether anyone really needs more than 3GB of RAM in a phone, but there's no doubt that higher amounts will come in handy in the future, particularly as mobile devices take over ever more complex computing duties. Still, Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus get by with 1GB just fine, with even the latest iPad Air topping out at 2GB. That could change later today at Apple's iPhone event, of course.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple, iPad, tablets

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