Samsung’s new RAM chip will make future iPhones even faster


A nw type of Samsung RAM is significantly faster than what's in the iPhone today.
A nw type of Samsung RAM is significantly faster than what's in the iPhone today.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung developed a type of RAM that’s 1.5 times faster than what’s included in smartphones today. And, even though Apple and Samsung are arch rivals, it’s very likely to be in iPhone someday.

The new 8Gb LPDDR5 DRAM boasts a data rate of up to 6,400 Mbps. That’s fast enough to send 51.2 GB, or about 14 full-HD video files, in a second.

“This development of 8Gb LPDDR5 represents a major step forward for low-power mobile memory solutions,” said Jinman Han, SVP of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung Electronics, in a statement.

New Samsung RAM saves power 

By doubling the number of memory “banks” – subdivisions within a DRAM cell – from 8 to 16, Samsung promises that its new memory uses less power, even though it’s much faster.

LPDDR5 offers a range of energy-saving methods, including a ‘deep sleep mode’, which cuts the power usage to approximately half the ‘idle mode’ of the current LPDDR4X DRAM. That’s how it  can use up to 30 percent less energy.

The LPDDR5 is the industry’s first 10-nanometer class DRAM, though the company lawyers are careful to note that “10nm-class” is a process node between 10 and 20 nanometers. Decreasing the distance between components on a chip saves power, while also speeding up performance.

In the 5G iPhone?

Samsung says this RAM is for “upcoming 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered mobile applications.” Put another way, the company sees it being used in “next-generation smartphones and automotive systems.”

Whether future iPhone models will use LPDDR5 is anyone’s guess, as Samsung certainly didn’t promise that today. However, RAM chips in every iPhone and iPad model for years have been made by this S. Korean company. And while Apple designs its own processors, and there are rumors it’s considering producing 5G modems, there have been no hints it’s considering making RAM chips.