Samsung Unveils 10nm, 8GB Memory for Smartphones

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The memory in most high-end smartphones today tops out at 4GB, but Samsung envisions a future where devices will carry double that amount without consuming any more power.

The company's 8GB LPDDR4 DRAM memory module, unveiled this week, uses the latest generation 10 nm semiconductor fabrication technology. That process requires extremely pure silicon and is only recently being put into production at Samsung factories.

Samsung's 10 nm "fab" process results in much more efficient power consumption, essentially doubling the capacity of the company's 20nm-class 4GB DRAM package, while consuming approximately the same amount of power.

The new 8GB module operates at up to 4,266 Mbps. That's twice as fast as DDR4 DRAM for PCs, which typically work at 2,133 Mbps.

While the new module meets the size requirements for smartphones and phablets, it will also likely find a home in tablets. Many tablets already ship with 8GB of RAM, but those devices will still get a performance boost from an LPDDR4 module, Samsung says.

"The advent of our powerful 8GB mobile DRAM solution will enable more capable next-generation, flagship mobile devices around the world," Samsung vice president Joo Sun Choi said in a statement.

Samsung also announced this week that it is using 10 nm technology to manufacture new systems-on-a-chip (SoC). Chips made from the new process will be used in devices launching early next year, possibly including the Galaxy S8. It will "meet the needs of a wide range of applications," the company says, and "become more widely available throughout 2017."

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