Samsung's newest memory chip isn't just a speed booster: It opens the possibilities of having up to a PC-like 6 GB of RAM inside a mobile device.
The company announced the new memory chip on Wednesday, claiming it's an industry first and is both the fastest and largest capacity available.
Using a 20 nanometer process, Samsung has created 12Gb, low power, double data rate (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM.
How fast is it?
Faster than memory found in traditional computers, the company says.
Compared to the preceding 20nm-based 8Gb LPDDR4, the 12Gb version is more than 30 percent faster at 4,266 megabits per second (Mbps), and is twice as fast as DDR4 DRAM for PCs, while consuming 20 percent less energy. In addition, manufacturing productivity of the 12Gb LPDDR4 has been raised more than 50 percent over that of 20nm-class 8Gb LPDDR4, which will further fuel demand for higher memory capacity in flagship mobile devices.
Both iOS and Android can take advantage of the greater memory capacity now that both are 64-bit capable. A pair of Samsung's new chips put 3 GB of RAM in a supported device, while the company says two pair is possible for 6 GB.
Apple started transitioning to 64-bit support in 2013, gradually requiring developers submit their app updates to include 64-bit versions. Google introduced 64-bit support in Android 5.0 last year.
Do we really need all that memory in a phone or tablet?
Low- and mid-range phones certainly don't, but those aren't the devices Samsung is targeting with its new silicon.
Instead, it's the flagship products and tablets that can run multiple apps on the screen that will need more memory in the future. The additional RAM will also help managing multiple web browser tabs; there's no need to reload or background refresh them if you can store them all in massive amounts of memory.