Samsung's been selling mobile DRAM packages in capacities up to 8 GB since 2016. The market is moving on to LPDDR4X now, and Samsung isn't being left behind. The company announced today that it's mass-producing what it calls the industry's first second-gen "10-nm-class" LPDDR4X memory, or "1y-nm" in its own parlance.
The main improvement of the second-generation chips over their predecessors appears to be a 10% reduction in power consumption at the same transfer rate. Like the chips introduced back in 2016, Samsung's new RAM tops out at 4266 MT/s—not that we're complaining about that performance. The high transfer rate is important given that mobile chips tend to run narrower memory interfaces than desktop and laptop machines.
Samsung's second-generation LPDDR4X memory is also thinner than the previous-generation product. Specifically, Samsung says the new chips are about 20% slimmer than its "1x-nm" RAM. While that certainly won't matter much to the end user, it might be nice for device builders who seemingly seek to have us get papercuts on the edges of our phones.
In case you're wondering what LPDDR4X is, it's simply LPDDR4 with its input voltage cut from 1.1 V to 0.6 V. The standard has been ratified by JEDEC a while ago and multiple companies like SK Hynix are selling the chips, though Samsung was the outfit that came up with the initial idea.
Perhaps the most exciting detail to come out of Samsung's announcement today is that the chaebol will be "expanding its DRAM offerings by 70%" on the new process. That could simply refer to a broader variety of products on offer, but hopefully it also hints at overall increased production. In turn, that could mean an eventual ease in market-choking DDR4 memory prices. We'll keep our fingers crossed.