Samsung’s battery-sipping RAM chips could be headed for iPhone


An improved Samsung RAM will almost certainly make future iPhone models more efficient.
An improved Samsung RAM will almost certainly make future iPhone models more efficient.
Photo: Samsung Electronics

The highlight of Samsung latest mobile RAM chip is power efficiency. The second-generation LPDDR4X uses up to 10 percent less electricity without sacrificing speed. That’s almost certainly going to benefit future iPhone models.

With batteries improving only slowly, the best way to increase the time between charges is for the phone’s components to draw less energy. Hence Samsung’s efforts to make its RAM more efficient.

The company didn’t reveal any devices that will use the improved LPDDR4X. However, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X all have the first generation version. And earlier Apple phones used Samsung’s LPDDR4 or its predecessors. So it’s not a stretch to predict the updated chips being produced now will be in future iOS devices.

New Samsung RAM probably not in the 2018 iPhone

Production of the LPDDR4X just began, possibly too late for the 2018 iPhone expected to launch in September. “The advent of 10nm-class mobile DRAM will enable significantly enhanced solutions for next-generation, flagship mobile devices that should first hit the market late this year or the first part of 2019.” said Sewon Chun, SVP of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics in a statement.

It’s possible the company is reserving the first of these RAM chips for its own Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which is supposedly scheduled for August.

If iPhone users have to wait until 2019 for this more efficient chip, at least there won’t a difference in speed. Both the current and new versions of the LPDDR4X (Low Power, Double Data Rate, 4X) chip offer  the same data rate of 4,266 Mb/s.

One of these chips can hold 16Gb (2GB). Samsung has been able to combine up to four of them.