South Korean memory maker SK Hynix announced today that it has delivered samples of what it claims is the world’s fastest mobile DRAM, expressing confidence that it will eventually be used in more applications.
The Low Power Double Data Rate 5 Turbo, or LPDDR5T, is 13 percent faster than the LPDDR5X released by the chip shop last November — hence the appending of the word “turbo” to its name. The turbo version tops out at 9.6Gbit/sec on the 10nm process, while the previous iteration hit 8.5Gbit/sec on the 12nm process.
A 16GB multi-chip package — such as the one offered as a sample — can handle 77GB of data per second, or 15 full-HD movies a second, according to SK Hynix’s preproduction announcement.if any of them is a little less avatar.
Following JEDEC guidelines, LPDDR5T operates between 1.01 and 1.12V, which is expected to be both fast and require very little power to operate.
Like its predecessors, DRAM products are processed with a high-k metal gate (HKMG), which is designed to prevent current leakage and increase capacitance. SK Hynix is the first memory maker to use the process in mobile products.
SK Hynix plans to start mass producing the product in the second half of 2023 using its advanced 10nm process, called 1anm. The product’s marketing hints at the hope that it will eventually move from mobile to other workloads — at least until those tasks are dedicated to LPDDR56.
“The IT industry predicts that as the 5G smartphone market further expands, demand for memory chips with advanced specifications will continue to increase. Amid this trend, SK hynix expects the application of LPDDR5T to expand from smartphones to artificial intelligence ( AI), machine learning and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR),” a spokesperson explained.
Top-of-the-line products from rivals like Samsung and Micron still meet the lower LPDDR5X specification.
Samsung said its 8.5Gbit/sec LPDDR5X, released last November, is also suitable for AI and even cars. Micron released its LPDDR5X samples around the same time, also at 8.5Gbit/sec.
SK Hynix experienced a profit plunge in late 2023 as it awaited the debut of 238-layer RAM products, which are expected to turn around sometime this year. The launch of not one but two new DRAMs since the disastrous Q3 earnings call could turn the earnings trend around with the launch of 238-layer products. ®