Samsung develops 8Gb LPDDR4 memory chip

2014 could be the year we see DDR4 memory on not only desktop systems, but also mobile devices. Samsung has developed a low-power DDR4 chip that packs 8Gb (1GB) onto a single die. This chip can be deployed in a quad-die package, giving next-gen devices a relatively easy way to offer 4GB of RAM. According to Samsung, high-end smartphones, tablets, and notebooks will be the first to employ the LPDDR4 chips.

The press release says the LPDDR4 is manufactured on a "20-nanometer class" process, which describes a fabrication node "somewhere between 20 and 30 nm." Samsung is more specific about performance. The chip is said to deliver maximum throughput of 3200Mbps (400MB/s) per pin—double the transfer rate of LPDDR3 RAM. Samsung also claims its LPDDR4 memory offers 50% higher performance than "the fastest LPDDR3 or DDR3 memory." There's no word on actual clock speeds, though.

True to its low-power designation, this new DDR4 memory promises to be very energy efficient. Samsung claims a 40% reduction in power consumption at 1.1V. The firm doesn't provide a frame of reference for that figure, but it's worth noting that the LPDDR3 standard calls for 1.2V.

Tellingly, the press release stops short of claiming that the LPDDR4 chips have entered mass production. The memory will be available next year, but we don't know exactly when. We also haven't heard of any SoCs designed to work with LPDDR4 RAM. Samsung may have a compatbile Exynos chip in the works, and I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's next-gen mobile processor had LPDDR4 support, as well.

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