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LPDDR5X-RAM: 64 GByte memory modules for notebooks, smartphones and more

Samsung has announced the first LPDDR5X memory, which is not only significantly faster than previous LPDDR5 RAM, but also achieves higher capacities. Samsung wants to accommodate up to 64 GB in a single memory module that works at a frequency of 4267 MHz (DDR5-8533).

LPDDR5 (without X) today reaches up to 3200 MHz (LPDDR5-6400), for example in Apple’s new MacBooks Pro with the systems-on-chips (SoCs) M1 Max and M1 Pro. The transfer rate on a typical 128-bit interface increases from around 102 to almost 137 GB / s. Most other devices, such as smartphones and Valve’s handheld console, have slower LPDDR5-5500 memory.

Theoretically, smartphone manufacturers could use the huge 64 GByte memory modules in the future, but there is hardly any need there. It gets more interesting with notebooks, which are currently limited to 32 GB, if you don’t use a 512-bit wide memory interface like Apple or use DDR4 plug-in modules. As further uses calls Samsung in its own communication (5G) edge servers and cars.

For a maximum of 64 GByte capacity, Samsung is stacking up to 32 storage layers of 16 GB each on top of one another. In the case of LPDDR5 (without X), Samsung produces a maximum of 16 GByte stacks with eight storage layers, Micron and SK Hynix come up to 18 GByte – Asus uses corresponding components in the Rog Phone 5s. Samsung does not write anything about the internal organization of the up to 64 GB LPDDR5X components. Since not every memory layer has its own channel for connection to a processor, a further developed logic is obvious, which addresses all individual memory layers alternately when writing.

In principle, LPDDR5X memory is always firmly soldered and not plugged in as a module. The high clock frequencies can be achieved without annoying jacks and through short signal paths.

Samsung, however, is unusually open when it comes to the manufacturing process: Instead of just writing about the “10 nanometer class”, the manufacturer explicitly mentions a 14 nm process with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure technology – called 1-alpha or 1a.

(mma)

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