Samsung's new memory design will allow for up to 4GB of RAM on mobile devices

By on December 30, 2013, 1:30 PM

Samsung on Monday announced a new memory chip design that will ultimately allow mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to support 4GB of RAM. At current, most smartphones support a maximum of 2GB of system memory although the company’s own Galaxy Note 3 ships with 3GB of RAM.

The Korean tech giant said the new 8 Gigabit LPDDR4 (low power double data rate) DRAM will result in faster and more responsive applications. Specifically, it can provide 50 percent higher performance compared to current LPDDR3 offerings.

It’ll also facilitate advanced features such as higher resolution displays (up to 4K resolution), all while consuming 40 percent less power than current memory chipsets. The new chips are built using 20-nanometer class technology meaning a process somewhere between 20- and 30-nanometers.

4GB of RAM in a smartphone or tablet is clearly overkill at this point but much like Apple did with their 64-bit processor, Samsung is looking to the future with the chip. Applications of the future will no doubt consume more processor cycles and subsequently, more memory.

The chip will launch next year, Samsung said, and will be used in large screen smartphones, tablets and ultra-slim notebooks from them as well as other manufacturers. It’s unclear, however, whether the chip will arrive in time to make it into Samsung’s next wave of mobile devices but considering the Note 3 already has 3GB of RAM, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Galaxy S5 or the Note 4 show up with the new chipset.




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ikesmasher said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at least 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

Your sentence is broken and hard to read without my brain getting bluescreens but after piecing it together I don't think I agree with it. Plenty of programs since 2007 or so take advantage of more then 1 core, and I am not talking games or even high-end programs. Your wording also dumbs the entire statement as not all cores are the same or comparable as they each offer different capabilities with their architecture and instruction sets.

2 people like this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

So lets stop advancements, they aren't needed! ... Id rather see battery advancements however more cores, RAM and overall processing power the better, even if isn't being fully utilized.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

So lets stop advancements, they aren't needed! ... Id rather see battery advancements however more cores, RAM and overall processing power the better, even if isn't being fully utilized.

I agree, battery tech should become a primary focus because I really feel were not moving at all anymore. We have only been improving the power consumption of the hardware that makes it feel like battery power gets better.

Overall, I think 4gb will be a nice jump because imagine the opportunity that the next gen OS's will be given and apps.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Your sentence is broken and hard to read without my brain getting bluescreens but after piecing it together I don't think I agree with it. Plenty of programs since 2007 or so take advantage of more then 1 core, and I am not talking games or even high-end programs. Your wording also dumbs the entire statement as not all cores are the same or comparable as they each offer different capabilities with their architecture and instruction sets.

The sentence is hardly broken.

Programs use more than one core often because windows decides to automatically split up the single core load amongst multiple cores, not because the programs have a desperate need for the other cores.

Fine. lets say programs since 2007 DID use dual cores. Then quad cores became an almost affordable possibility just before that and now quad core PCs are quite common. How many programs truly use four cores? Regardless of capability or instruction sets, the program decides how many cores it wants to use (as far as I know), and windows changes it however it wants.

Dont get me wrong, im not saying we should stop advancing, I just think battery life and efficiency of current hardware should be perfected before moving onto 12 core phones with 4+GB of memory, especially since I cant think of many ideal situations for that type of hardware to begin with.

Guest said:

Well, think about when phones become your 'computer', and you simply plug them into a docking station that's attached to a couple of monitors, and keyboard/mouse, and your printer. Then, 4+ cores and 4GB RAM makes sense, and you will need more performance to work with the increased application demands of workstation/desktop use.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

I wolud take longer battery life with 2 cores over 4 cores and 4gb.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Dont get me wrong, im not saying we should stop advancing, I just think battery life and efficiency of current hardware should be perfected before moving onto 12 core phones with 4+GB of memory, especially since I cant think of many ideal situations for that type of hardware to begin with.

Agreed 100% but I guessed you might say something to that effect as you have a good point. Better optimization and use of our current hardware is a good priority to have, Haswell is a good example of this.

My iPad 2 has no balls but damn it goes forever on a charge.

Lionvibez said:

Well, think about when phones become your 'computer', and you simply plug them into a docking station that's attached to a couple of monitors, and keyboard/mouse, and your printer. Then, 4+ cores and 4GB RAM makes sense, and you will need more performance to work with the increased application demands of workstation/desktop use.

True but power will always been an issue for mobile with current battery tech.

And that is one of the things desktop PCs still has going for it and will keep them relevant.

soulsassassin said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

So lets stop advancements, they aren't needed! ... Id rather see battery advancements however more cores, RAM and overall processing power the better, even if isn't being fully utilized.

the problem is that Lithium-ion Batteries have reach there maximum capabilities and now forcing all the hardware to be power efficient and holding back performance

misor misor said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

So lets stop advancements, they aren't needed! ... Id rather see battery advancements however more cores, RAM and overall processing power the better, even if isn't being fully utilized.

I agree 100%. battery life should be improved.

we see manufacturers bragging of low-voltage processor/memory chips yet the overall battery life of smartphones is not as satisfying as the battery life of old dumbphones.

Seventh Reign Seventh Reign said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

Your sentence is broken and hard to read without my brain getting bluescreens but after piecing it together I don't think I agree with it. Plenty of programs since 2007 or so take advantage of more then 1 core, and I am not talking games or even high-end programs. Your wording also dumbs the entire statement as not all cores are the same or comparable as they each offer different capabilities with their architecture and instruction sets.

Actually, no there arent. There are less than a handful of applications that take advantage of more than 1 core and even LESS that take advantage of more than 2. Any and EVERYone with a Quad to an Octo-Core CPU has wasted their money.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Actually, no there arent. There are less than a handful of applications that take advantage of more than 1 core and even LESS that take advantage of more than 2. Any and EVERYone with a Quad to an Octo-Core CPU has wasted their money.

I wouldnt go that far. I have 4 cores and use all of them for 3d rendering, video encoding, etc etc.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

Single programs are *not* the point. Look at any task manager. Look at the quantity of background tasks. Single threaded apps are not the only relevant part to the usefulness of cores.

1 person liked this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Actually, no there arent. There are less than a handful of applications that take advantage of more than 1 core and even LESS that take advantage of more than 2. Any and EVERYone with a Quad to an Octo-Core CPU has wasted their money.

Wow that is an amazingly uninformed statement. As a developer, I don't know where to begin because compile times in what I work on are directly affected by number of cores. I'm not exaggerating. My current desktop has 8 virtual cores and actually runs (yes you guessed it) 8 threads to compile a solution that takes about 5 minutes to fully compile. Maxes out a minimum of 4 of the threads for the compile and would eat more threads if I had more to give it.

Then there's gaming. BF4 uses quad cores - not sure you could run at high res at usable fps on a dual core. Certainly would kill perf on my rig only running 2.

Puiu Puiu said:

Your sentence is broken and hard to read without my brain getting bluescreens but after piecing it together I don't think I agree with it. Plenty of programs since 2007 or so take advantage of more then 1 core, and I am not talking games or even high-end programs. Your wording also dumbs the entire statement as not all cores are the same or comparable as they each offer different capabilities with their architecture and instruction sets.

The sentence is hardly broken.

Programs use more than one core often because windows decides to automatically split up the single core load amongst multiple cores, not because the programs have a desperate need for the other cores.

Fine. lets say programs since 2007 DID use dual cores. Then quad cores became an almost affordable possibility just before that and now quad core PCs are quite common. How many programs truly use four cores? Regardless of capability or instruction sets, the program decides how many cores it wants to use (as far as I know), and windows changes it however it wants.

Dont get me wrong, im not saying we should stop advancing, I just think battery life and efficiency of current hardware should be perfected before moving onto 12 core phones with 4+GB of memory, especially since I cant think of many ideal situations for that type of hardware to begin with.

You are contradicting yourself. Do the extra cores get used or not? (and yes that sentence was broken)

Stop talking about how programs don't use more than one core. It's not true and hasn't been true for many years now (unless you are stuck in the XP era). If you own a dual core and compare it to a quad core you'll find out that the performance you get even with single threaded programs (because nobody opens just one program anymore and the OS has so many background processes) is worlds apart, especially on windows 7/8.

All 2/4/8 cores get used up pretty fast just because now we are used to opening several programs and having a browser with 5-10-20 tabs open at the same time. Does it matter if one of those programs uses only 1 core if the rest use the other cores?

Right now the focus is not on threaded programs, we're past that stage. The focus is moving towards GPGPU. This is where we will see huge/real performance gains.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

^ I was about to reply to this when I noticed it was in agreement with my statement so nevermind!

Guest said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

More memory is good for any mobile device it has nothing to do cores and how OS utilize CPU cores technology.

ikesmasher said:

You are contradicting yourself. Do the extra cores get used or not? (and yes that sentence was broken) It really wasn't; I just noticed my spelling error in the word "least" though so I guess I can see how that caused some confusion.

Stop talking about how programs don't use more than one core. It's not true and hasn't been true for many years now (unless you are stuck in the XP era). If you own a dual core and compare it to a quad core you'll find out that the performance you get even with single threaded programs (because nobody opens just one program anymore and the OS has so many background processes) is worlds apart, especially on windows 7/8.

All 2/4/8 cores get used up pretty fast just because now we are used to opening several programs and having a browser with 5-10-20 tabs open at the same time. Does it matter if one of those programs uses only 1 core if the rest use the other cores?

Right now the focus is not on threaded programs, we're past that stage. The focus is moving towards GPGPU. This is where we will see huge/real performance gains.

None of US open one program. There are tons and tons of people who still use a single program at a time.

Also, windows has 10 processes running right now, and alongside steam and firefox im sitting at 1% CPU usage....so I don't think thats relevant.

I wouldn't call the performance worlds apart on single core vs multi core due to the amount of cores. Unless over 25% of each core is being used. As thats just windows splitting the load up a bunch. Basically, the extra cores give single core programs 4 times as much possible processing power but that hardly means they use it. Nor do they need to; many of the single core programs out there perform just fine the way they were programmed (And windows splits the load up and does its magic and that helps to some degree). I just said that to support the point that we dont need more cores right now. If 4 cores works fine for me, then the vast majority of PC users dont ever need more than 2. And there are people who legitimately need 6 or "8" cores, im sure, but they are vastly outnumbered.

Im not meaning to dig myself into hole or argue about how many cores programs use, im simply saying that optimizing efficiency at this point should be easily the priority over giving smartphones more ram or more cores. Id imagine there are less than a handful of apps for smartphones right now that use more than 2 cores.

And I think we were both headed in the same direction based on your last sentence. I was never trying to give some specific input as to what should be done, I was using the example (that perhaps was exaggerated in my OP, ill say that) of thread usage to make a general statement that efficiency is priority over power, which the OMGMORECORES people at smartphone companies apparently don't quite understand.

JC713 JC713 said:

Please. dual core processors came out for desktops over a decade ago and at last 50% of the programs out there still probably dont use more than a single core.

So lets stop advancements, they aren't needed! ... Id rather see battery advancements however more cores, RAM and overall processing power the better, even if isn't being fully utilized.

Agreed.

I would like to personally see better battery tech. For example, we need to find alternatives to Lithium.

I think Android and iOS have to develop a bit more in order to make use of more than 2-3GB of RAM. Currently, if I am not mistaken, Android doesnt even use 2GB of RAM fully.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

None of US open one program. There are tons and tons of people who still use a single program at a time.

Also, windows has 10 processes running right now, and alongside steam and firefox im sitting at 1% CPU usage....so I don't think thats relevant..

My brother still uses a basic Acer laptop with a single core Sempron, it has XP 32bit and constantly has about 40-50 background processes running without any main programs running.

Id imagine there are less than a handful of apps for smartphones right now that use more than 2 cores..

Id imagine there are more than a handful of apps for smartphones right now that use more than 2 cores, considering almost half of my apps take advantage of everything my little Cortex A9 has to offer (CPUZ).

Sorry if I am coming across as a smart@ss or argumentative its not my goal, but single core CPU's have had their limits for years. I've worked on hundreds of P4's, PD's and Core2Duo's for example and the single core P4's, even with a clock speed advantage, get man handled by a simple E2160, even running basic programs, doing installations, etc.

1 person liked this | ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'd love to see this RAM in Windows tablets. I hope Intel supports it in its next Atom chips. I don't feel the need for more than 2GB in Android, but for Windows it would be very helpful.

As for people complaining that battery life is more important than other advancement, note that this new RAM takes less power, so even if you don't need the size, you'll get more battery life from it.

Actually, no there arent. There are less than a handful of applications that take advantage of more than 1 core and even LESS that take advantage of more than 2.

If you discount browsers, games, OS's, content creation, software development, spreadsheets, compression, and some more things, you're probably right.

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