Future iPhone may get fastest ever LPDDR5 power-sipping DRAM from Samsung

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Samsung has developed what it calls the first 10-nanometer 8-gigabit LPDDR5 DRAM prototype, a memory module that is faster than the previous generation and is intended to help machine learning applications in 5G-equipped smartphones, and one that could make its way into a future iPhone model.




The new memory module is claimed to have a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits per second, approximately 1.5 times as fast as the 4,266 megabit per second LPDDR4X, which is currently being used in smartphones, including the iPhone X. According to Samsung, the LPDDR5 memory is capable of sending 51.2 gigabytes of data in a second, which it equates to 14 full HD video files of 3.7 gigabytes each.

Two versions of the 10-nanometer memory will be provided, with the 6,400-megabit model having an operating voltage of 1.1 volts, along with a 5,500-megabit version requiring 1.05 volts.

Samsung is also claiming there are a number of architectural enhancements made to increase the bandwidth, including doubling the number of memory banks within a DRAM cell from eight to 16, and the use of a "highly advanced, speed-optimized circuit architecture" to verify performance.

To save power, the memory chip will lower its voltage in accordance with the operating speed of the application processor, minimize overwriting cells with "0" values, and have a "deep sleep mode" that cuts power usage to half the "idle mode" of LPDDR4X DRAM. Overall, Samsung estimates this will provide power consumption reductions of up to 30 percent, in turn helping to extend the battery life of mobile devices.

It may be a long wait before the memory becomes available to use in consumer devices, as Samsung has so far completed testing and validation of a prototype package. Samsung does plan to begin mass production of the chip, alongside DDR5 and GDDR6 "in line with the demands of global customers," but it is unclear if that means the first devices using LPDDR5 are months or years away.




For Apple, LPDDR5 has the potential to help it improve machine learning capabilities the company has started to insert into the iPhone, starting with the A11 Bionic used in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 range. Higher memory bandwidth can allow for faster processing or more processes in a defined period of time.

Apple also uses the older LPDDR3 RAM in some of its MacBook lineup, which is roughly half the speed of its LPDDR4 equivalents. The use of that type of memory has been an issue for some time, as Apple was stuck offering a maximum of 16 gigabytes of RAM in its MacBook Pro line due to its use of Intel processors that supported LPDDR3 but not LPDDR4, which would have enabled Apple to offer 32-gigabyte models.

The recent 2018 MacBook Pro refresh included the option to buy a MacBook Pro with 32 gigabytes of memory, but the change wasn't caused through using a processor with native LPDDR4 support. Instead, Apple moved to using DDR4 RAM in the new model, memory that is more power-hungry than LPDDR4.

Even with the introduction of LPDDR5, MacBook Pro users may not be able to use it until Intel brings out a processor that natively supports it, and that may take some time.
h4y3sh4y3s

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,344member
    I'm starting to see Intel like this;

    Sorry, embedded video isn't working

    try this link instead;

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22184/watch-uss-recine-get-pummeled-to-death-during-rimpac-2018-sinking-exercise
    edited July 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    lovemnlovemn Posts: 48member
    Or May Not get.... never trust a headline with may, should, could or similar words.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,712member
    I am still waiting to see LPDDR4 in Macbook Pro or in 2020 MAC's lineup/release Apple will go straight to LPDDR5 with homegrown ARM CPU/GPU.
    edited July 2018 curtis hannahmcdaverepressthis
  • Reply 4 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,435member
    I predict that LPDDR5 will come to the Mac via ARM, not Intel.
    mcdavewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,918administrator
    lovemn said:
    Or May Not get.... never trust a headline with may, should, could or similar words.
    Or you know, you could read the article. Saying that it's destined for the iPhone is ludicrous.
    edited July 2018 repressthish4y3s
  • Reply 6 of 15
    During fiscal 2017 Apple sold 19.2 Million Macs.  Assuming 50% were variations of the newest MacBook, then Apple sold 9.6 Million MacBooks.

    During the same year, Apple sold 216 Million iPhones, of which 70% were the latest/greatest, or 151 Million of the newest iPhones.

    During the same year, Apple sold 43.7 Million iPads, of which 60% were the latest/greatest, or 26 Million of the newest iPads.

    Total devices using Intel processors = 9.6 Million

    Total devices using Apple processors = 177 Million

    iPhones and iPads will see LPDDR5 memory LONG (2022?) before Mac laptops do (unless Apple is able to incorporate A-Series processors into its laptops before then).
    curtis hannahwatto_cobraols
  • Reply 7 of 15
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,011member
    Nah.  TByte/sec HBM3 & more GPU cores please.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,918administrator
    mcdave said:
    Nah.  TByte/sec HBM3 & more GPU cores please.
    I think more GPU cores is a given. HBM3 is a little iffier in the short term, given Apple's demand and volume that they'd need.
    edited July 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,011member
    mcdave said:
    Nah.  TByte/sec HBM3 & more GPU cores please.
    I think more GPU cores is a given. HBM3 is a little iffier in the short term, given Apple's demand and volume that they'd need.
    I’d settle for HBM2 Aquabolt for iPad Pro volumes.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    netroxnetrox Posts: 693member
    I am confused: "The new memory module is claimed to have a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits per second, approximately 1.5 times as fast as the 4,266 megabit per second LPDDR4X, which is currently being used in smartphones, including the iPhone X. According to Samsung, the LPDDR5 memory is capable of sending 51.2 gigabytes of data in a second, which it equates to 14 full HD video files of 3.7 gigabytes each." It doesn't make sense. How is it capable of transferring 51.2 GB (409.6 Gb) of data per second if the module is said to have data rate up to 6.4Gbps?!?!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,011member
    netrox said:
    I am confused: "The new memory module is claimed to have a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits per second, approximately 1.5 times as fast as the 4,266 megabit per second LPDDR4X, which is currently being used in smartphones, including the iPhone X. According to Samsung, the LPDDR5 memory is capable of sending 51.2 gigabytes of data in a second, which it equates to 14 full HD video files of 3.7 gigabytes each." It doesn't make sense. How is it capable of transferring 51.2 GB (409.6 Gb) of data per second if the module is said to have data rate up to 6.4Gbps?!?!
    Each module is 1-bit so for a 64-bit path the numbers work.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 907member
    lovemn said:
    Or May Not get.... never trust a headline with may, should, could or similar words.
    Or you know, you could read the article. Saying that it's destined for the iPhone is ludicrous.
    Honestly, I found the article title misleading as well. The title was worded to sound like the iphone is set to get a new, faster memory technology. When you actually read it, you find out the technology is actually still in development and the only reason to think the iphones may get it is because they use memory. Seems like kind of a click-bait headline to me.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,423member
    "a data rate of up to 6,400 megabits per second, approximately 1.5 times as fast as the 4,266 megabit per second LPDDR4X"

    <shrug>
    In the world of smart phones, that ain't that big of an increase -- particularly over a period of years.  Certainly not a revolution.  Actually almost in line with historical improvements in processing speed.

    Yeh, it is the "fastest ever".  True.  But you could say that about every new iPhone ever announced (except the SE).
  • Reply 14 of 15
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,918administrator
    MplsP said:
    lovemn said:
    Or May Not get.... never trust a headline with may, should, could or similar words.
    Or you know, you could read the article. Saying that it's destined for the iPhone is ludicrous.
    Honestly, I found the article title misleading as well. The title was worded to sound like the iphone is set to get a new, faster memory technology. When you actually read it, you find out the technology is actually still in development and the only reason to think the iphones may get it is because they use memory. Seems like kind of a click-bait headline to me.
    Given that iPhones have used LPDDR2, LPDDR3 and LPDDR4, and the MacBook Pro uses LPDDR3, it seems like a pretty fair assessment.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 15 of 15
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 364member
    DDR5 is in development as well.

    I honestly think that Intel doesn't care about the power efficiency anymore.  That's why there's no LPDDR4, and with later generations hits throttle all the time.
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