Samsung begins 12-gigabit LPDDR4 mass production

The world's second largest semiconductor company by revenue is increasing its production of memory chips that use the 20-nanometer process to stay head of its rivals.

Samsung will begin mass production of 12-gigabit LPDDR4 (low-power, double-data rate 4) mobile DRAM memory chips, the South Korean tech giant announced last week.

Based on its 20-nanometer process, the decision will likely further boost Samsung's dominance in the lucrative memory market for mobiles.

The chip will likely be used in next-generation phones by manufacturers at the end of this year.

"By initiating mass production of 12Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM in an extremely timely manner, we now are not only helping OEMs to accelerate their moves to the next generation of mobile devices, but also providing functionality that will give mobile consumers greatly enhanced user experiences," said Choi Joo-sun, executive vice president of memory sales and marketing at Samsung Electronics.

"Furthermore, we intend to closely collaborate with our global customers to move beyond premium smartphones and tablets in creating new digital markets that embrace the full potential of cutting-edge technologies like next-generation mobile DRAM."

Compared to the preceding 8Gb LPDDR4, the new 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, Samsung said.

The company said the chip also takes up less space, which will allow devices to become thinner.

Samsung supplies its memory chips -- DRAM and NAND flash -- to almost all existing smartphone manufacturers, from the low-end to the high-end, such as Chinese players as well as Apple.

Samsung declined to name clients for the new chips.