Samsung’s Super-Charged DRAM Will Power Future Phones — and Maybe Even the Metaverse

Samsung’s Super-Charged DRAM Will Power Future Phones — and Maybe Even the Metaverse
Image: Samsung

Not to be confused with new DDR5 RAM for desktops rolling out alongside Intel’s new 12th-gen CPUs, today Samsung has announced the “industry’s first” LPDDR5X DRAM for smartphones and mobile devices.

When compared to the LPDDR5 memory already being used in many phones, Samsung claims its new LPDDR5X DRAM can process data at up to 8.5 Gbps, which is 1.3 times faster than standard LPDDR5 RAM (6.4 Gbps) while consuming 20% less power.

The LPDDR5X is based on a new 14-nanometre process, and Samsung says it’s the first manufacturer to deliver 16GB LPDDR5X modules, which can even be combined to provide up to 64GB of RAM in a single device.

Aside from an increased data rate of 8.5 Gbps, another big upgrade with LPDDR5X is that it’s designed to support 16 memory banks per channel across the board, as opposed to standard LPDDR5, which can vary between 8 and 16 memory banks depending on the config.

In addition to being used in future high-end phones, Samsung says its new LPDDR5X DRAM was also designed to support a wide range of high-speed applications in categories like 5G, AI, cars, and, like every other company these days, the metaverse.

According to SangJoon Hwang, Samsung Electronics VP and head of DRAM design, Samsung’s LPDDR5X “will broaden the use of high-performance, low-power memory beyond smartphones and bring new capabilities to AI-based edge applications like servers and even automobiles.”

The company adds that it will begin working with chip makers to “establish a more viable framework for the expanding world of digital reality” — and apparently this super-charged DRAM will be the “foundation” of that reality.

Samsung has not provided a concrete timeline for when we might see LPDDR5X DRAM in actual consumer devices, though based on Samsung’s plan to use its new memory to support new VR and AR applications, I wouldn’t be surprised to see LPDDRX5 DRAM pop up in devices (possibly an AR/VR headset of some sort) sometime next year.