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Samsung Rolls Out 10nm Class DRAM for 5G, AI

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has successfully developed the industry's first 10nm class 8G-bit LPDDR5 DRAM. Since bringing the first 8G-bit LPDDR4 to mass production in 2014, Samsung has been setting the stage to transition to the LPDDR5 standard for use in upcoming 5G and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered mobile applications.

The newly-developed 8G-bit LPDDR5 is the latest addition to Samsung's premium DRAM lineup, which includes 10nm-class 16G-bit GDDR6 DRAM, which has been in volume production since December 2017, and the 16G-bit DDR5 DRAM, which was developed in February.

"This development of 8G-bit LPDDR5 represents a major step forward for low-power mobile memory solutions," said Jinman Han, Senior Vice President of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to expand our next-generation 10nm-class DRAM lineup as we accelerate the move toward greater use of premium memory across the global landscape."

The 8G-bit LPDDR5 features a data rate of up to 6.4Gbps, which is 1.5 times as fast as the mobile DRAM chips used in current flagship mobile devices (LPDDR4X, 4.2Gbps). With the increased transfer rate, the new LPDDR5 can send 51.2GB of data, or approximately 14 full HD video files of 3.7GB each in a second.

The 10nm-class LPDDR5 DRAM will be available in two bandwidths, the 6,400Mbps at 1.1V and 5.5Gbps at 1.05V. This performance advancement has been made possible through several architectural enhancements.

By doubling the number of memory banks – subdivisions within a DRAM cell – from eight to 16, the new memory can attain a much higher speed while reducing power consumption. The 8G-bit LPDDR5 also makes use of a highly advanced, speed-optimized circuit architecture that verifies and ensures the chip's ultra high-speed performance.

To maximize power savings, the 10nm-class LPDDR5 has been engineered to lower its voltage in accordance with the operating speed of the corresponding application processor when in active mode. It also has been configured to avoid overwriting cells with 0 values.

In addition, the new LPDDR5 chip will offer a 'deep sleep mode', which cuts the power usage to approximately half the 'idle mode' of the present LPDDR4X DRAM. Thanks to these low-power features, the 8G-bit LPDDR5 DRAM will deliver power consumption reductions of up to 30 percent, maximizing mobile device performance and extending the battery life of smartphones.