Sunday, March 7th 2021

SK Hynix Begins Mass-Production of 18-Gigabyte LPDDR5 Mobile DRAM Chips

SK hynix Inc announced that it has started mass-production of 18 GB (gigabyte) LPDDR5 mobile DRAM, which offers the largest capacity in the industry. This product will be equipped in premium smartphones to support an optimal environment for games with high resolution image and also high quality videos. SK hynix also expects that application will continue expanding to include the latest technologies, including ultra-high-performance camera applications and artificial intelligence (AI).

"This product will improve the processing speed and image quality by expanding the data temporary storage space, as the capacity increases compared to the previous 16 GB product," an official from the company said. The new product runs at up to 6,400 Mbps (megabits-per-second), around 20% faster than the mobile DRAM (LPDDR5 with 5,500 Mbps) for existing smartphones, a data rate that is capable of transferring ten 5 GB FHD (Full-HD) movies per second.
With this product, SK hynix expects that smartphone makers will be able to deliver smartphones with more advanced performance than the previous generation.

SK hynix supplied its very first 18 GB LPDDR5 products into the upcoming ASUS 'Republic of Gamers (ROG) 5' gaming smartphone, marking the start of full-scale volume production.

According to market research institution Omdia, the demand of LPDDR5 DRAM accounts for about 10% of the entire mobile DRAM market currently, and the share is estimated to increase to more than 50% by 2023 as high-tech devices are adopted in a widening range of applications.
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14 Comments on SK Hynix Begins Mass-Production of 18-Gigabyte LPDDR5 Mobile DRAM Chips

#1
LabRat 891
Wow. Up there with GDDR5 speeds, at least as claimed. This (more advancements of LP-DDR5), along with AMD getting back into the ultra-mobile graphics game w/ Samsung could make for some extremely powerful little devices. Is there a simple explanation as to the weird density? 18GB?
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
hellrazor
18 GB per chip?
Yes, 18 Gbyte per PoP.
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#4
TumbleGeorge
But SD 888 support up to 16GB RAM. How to use 18GB? Next model SD in ROG5 or special custom version?
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#5
Verpal
TumbleGeorge
But SD 888 support up to 16GB RAM. How to use 18GB? Next model SD in ROG5 or special custom version?
Either there will be a special SD 888+ for ASUS or only 16GB is addressable.
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#6
TumbleGeorge
Question! Why designers of mobile SoC's make limit of RAM supported size?
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#7
Verpal
TumbleGeorge
Question! Why designers of mobile SoC's make limit of RAM supported size?
All memory controller on board of SOC have limit on addressable size, whether it is being enforced artificially or truly limited by its capacity I cannot answer, however.

In case of true capacity limit, die space is precious, space spent on memory controller is space wasted if the chip will never be paired with as much memory the controller can address.
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#8
TumbleGeorge
Verpal
All memory controller on board of SOC have limit on addressable size, whether it is being enforced artificially or truly limited by its capacity I cannot answer, however.

In case of true capacity limit, die space is precious, space spent on memory controller is space wasted if the chip will never be paired with as much memory the controller can address.
Space(size area on die) for memory controller is different (bigger) when support more RAM? I don't think so but maybe I'm wrong?
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
TumbleGeorge
Question! Why designers of mobile SoC's make limit of RAM supported size?
They arrive at an upper limit by determining what memory densities are likely to be available for a given compatible memory type, and at what point will memory latencies and DRAM voltages become intolerable to the outlook of their platform. Segmentation also plays a factor, where mid-tier/entry-level SoCs have lower memory size limits.

This happens even in the PC space, where client CPUs are usually capped around 64 GB to 128 GB, with limits set on per-channel and per-DIMM density.
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#10
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
18GB sounds weird, but not if there are two ECC/parity bytes for every 16 bytes.
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#11
Xex360
Just read that the next Asus whatever it's called will pack 18gb of ram, why is that, what are people doing with their phones to require such huge amounts of ram? Am I missing something?
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#12
Tardian
Why 18GB on a phone? My guess is that computational photography, 100mp camera sensors, and 4K/8K video may have something to do with the requirement.
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#13
watzupken
This is madness man. I seriously wonder if a phone can actually utilize that much memory. By constantly increasing memory size, they are just making software developers job easier.
Tardian
Why 18GB on a phone? My guess is that computational photography, 100mp camera sensors, and 4K/8K video may have something to do with the requirement.
I doubt that. I think fast memory is probably more useful than lots of memory in these cases. To me, 18GB is more from a marketing standpoint to stand out from the overly crowded Android handset market. Same goes for the increasingly ridiculous mega pixel count.
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#14
TumbleGeorge
Wait the moment this phone with priority for gaming or photo?
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