Samsung's new mighty 12GB DRAM: This is chip you'll see in next-gen smartphones

Samsung plans to triple the volume of 8GB and 12GB DRAM units in anticipation of higher demand for devices with massive memory.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Samsung has started mass-producing RAM modules for smartphones with an almighty 12GB of capacity, which will pave the way for smartphones with bigger memory than many of today's laptops. 

The low-power double data rate 4X (LPDDR4X) package marks a 4GB bump on the highest capacity DRAM package that Samsung started mass-producing in July 2018.    

The 12GB module will help smartphone makers exploit new features coming to devices like five-camera setups, bigger displays, artificial intelligence and, of course, faster 5G networks. 

Users should experience faster multi-tasking and smoother switching between apps on big, high-resolution screens. Samsung also notes that the 1.1mm thick unit should help smartphone makers deliver thinner devices, while leaving more space for bigger batteries. 

"With mass production of the new LPDDR4X, Samsung is now providing a comprehensive line-up of advanced memory to power the new era of smartphones, from 12GB mobile DRAM to 512GB eUFS 3.0 storage," said Sewon Chun, executive vice president of memory marketing at Samsung Electronics. 

"Moreover, with the LPDDR4X, we're strengthening our position as the premium mobile memory maker best positioned to accommodate rapidly growing demand from global smartphone manufacturers."

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The 12GB RAM isn't quite as fast as the 8GB LPDDR5 RAM the company announced last year with data transfer rates of 6.4Gbps. However, the 12GB RAM still has a respectable transfer rate of 4.2Gbps. 

Samsung is delivering the 12GB RAM package by stacking six 16-gigabit LPDDR4X chips using its second-generation 10nm-class (1y-nm) process. 

As the company highlights in its announcement, RAM capacities have been climbing quickly over the past decade. In 2011, LPDDR3 RAM packages maxed out at 2GB. By 2014 Samsung was making 4GB LPDDR4 RAM. That doubled to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM in 2016. 

Samsung also announced that it will "more than triple" the units of 1y-nm-based 8GB and 12GB mobile DRAM supplied from its memory line in Pyeongtaek, Korea.


The 12GB module will help smartphone makers exploit new features like five-camera setups, bigger displays, artificial intelligence, and faster 5G networks.

Image: Samsung

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