Samsung has been steadily improving its semiconductor products, from processors to NAND storage, and now to volatile memory, to help offset its disappointing smartphone sales. While the numbers and names might be a bit confusing thanks to how they’re marketed, this 12 Gigabit, not Gigabyte, LPDDR4 RAM is still a notable achievement. By squeezing in more memory in a single chip made with the same 20 nm process, Samsung is practically paving the way for smartphones and tablets to soon have as much as 6 GB of RAM inside.
Gigabits, abbreviates as Gb, is not the same as Gigabytes (GB), just as bits are not bytes. A byte holds 8 bits, so 12 Gigabits would be equivalent to 1.5 Gigabytes. That might not seem like an interesting size, since we’ve seen 1.5 GB RAM on devices before, but that would be missing the point.
Samsung’s previous 20 nm manufacturing process only yielded 8 Gigabit LPDDR4 RAM chips, meaning 1 GB. These 1 GB chips are then combined in two to four mixes to yield 2 to 4 GB of RAM. Samsung’s achievement is that its 20 nm process can now produce 12 Gibagit memory chips. This means that you can reach 6 GB of RAM by combining 4 such chips, without having to alter anything else since it would be compatible with existing 20 nm memory.
This is definitely something worth nothing, especially since Samsung, or at least according to it, is the only one that has a 6 GB RAM solution. Factor in 64-bit processors prevalent in smartphones today and the fact that LPDDR4 is, so far, the fastest RAM speed available in mobile, then you’ve got something to look forward to in future.
Naturally, this 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM configuration will eventually find itself in Samsung’s smartphones. In fact, Samsung not so subtly hints that its next gen flagships would indeed sport such a feature. That might have to wait a bit, maybe in the next Galaxy Note, as Samsung normally doesn’t bump the Galaxy S line too far ahead.