SK Hynix has quietly added its new 8 GB LPDDR4 package to the family of mobile DRAM offerings. The new package paves the way for single-package smartphones and tablets with 8 GB of memory and is based on the company’s yet unannounced 16 Gb LPDDR4 ICs (integrated circuits).

The 8 GB (64 Gb) LPDDR4 package stacks four 16 Gb DRAM parts that feature a 3733 MT/s transfer rate and provide up to 29.8 GB/s of bandwidth when connected to an application processor using a 64-bit memory bus. The 8 GB DRAM package from SK Hynix comes in a standard 15 mm × 15 mm 366-ball or 376-ball form-factor which is compatible with mainstream mobile devices. The 366-ball FBGA package can be PoP stacked with a mobile SoC or a UFS NAND storage device and is available to customers of the company now. The 376-ball FBGA will be available in Q1 2017.

SK Hynix uses its 21 nm manufacturing technology to produce the 16 Gb LPDDR4 memory devices. By contrast, Samsung, which also recently added an 8 GB LPDDR4 package to its own product lineup, uses its '10 nm-class' fabrication process to make 16 Gb ICs. Thinner process technology has allowed Samsung to increase interface data rate of its 8 GB LPDDR4 package to 4266 MT/s (14% higher compared to data-rate of SK Hynix’s offering).

SK Hynix 8 GB LPDDR4 DRAM Packages
DRAM IC Capacity 16 Gb
Number of DRAM ICs 4
Data Rate 3733 MT/s
Bus Width x64
Bandwidth 29.8 GB/s
Package FBGA-366 15 mm × 15 mm FBGA-376 15 mm × 15 mm
Voltages 1.8V / 1.1V / 1.1V 1.8V / 1.1V / 0.6V
Process Technology 21 nm
Availability Q4 2016 Q1 2017

The 8 GB LPDDR4-3733 package from SK Hynix features industry-standard LPDDR4 voltages, but neither the company’s website nor the product catalog reveals the expected power consumption. Since the company keeps using its 21 nm fabrication process for its 16 Gb LPDDR4 ICs, the DRAM devices will likely consume more power than their 12 Gb predecessors. Of course, SK Hynix may have refined the design of its LPDDR4 circuits to optimize their power consumption, which will be particularly important in mobile categories.

SK Hynix did not make any formal announcements covering the new 8 GB LPDDR4-3733 packages, which may be an indicator that it has not delivered any commercial batches of the product yet. Nonetheless, the addition of the 8 GB LPDDR4 stacks to the company’s product catalog means that they are production ready and it is reasonable to expect at least select devices to use them in 2017.

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Source: SK Hynix

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  • MajGenRelativity - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    I'm all for continuing innovation and advancement, but I think mobile RAM space has outrun mobile RAM usage. We need to see more apps that could actually take advantage of the 6-8GB common on today's high end phones and tablets!
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    Since mobile SOCs rely on system memory to feed both the CPU cores and graphics processors, it seems like there'll eventually be demand for that RAM, but maybe not right away. The trouble with applications that could use that much RAM is they'd also probably load the SOC to the point where it's demanding a lot of power. When fully loaded, modern SOCs can drink up battery power quickly which means the device user needs to recharge the device, or never leave the outlet to begin with. That sort of workload doesn't play well with how people prefer to use their mobile devices.
  • lefenzy - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    There have been complaints about the new macbook pros being limited to 16 GB of ram, and the official explanation is that 16 GB is the highest capacity for LPDDR3 that's available. Now with these new memory chips, maybe next gen's macbook pros will support LPDDR4.
  • RaichuPls - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    It depends solely on Intel. Right now, none of their CPU designs support LPDDR4.
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    I believe x86 laptops can use lpddr4.

    So as long as the existing memory controller supports it (Intel pls), I don't think there's any major disadvantage with using lpddr4 versus soldered down permanently.
  • ender8282 - Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - link

    Which high end phones have 8GB or Ram?
  • yuhong - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    I wonder when Intel will support LPDDR4.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - link

    "Since the company keeps using its 21 nm fabrication process for its 16 Gb LPDDR4 ICs, the DRAM devices will likely consume more power than their 12 Gb predecessors."

    If we assume the same frequency and voltage for both chips there are a few things left relevant for power consumption:

    DRAM refresh: every cell has to be refreshed periodically. This power draw scales linearly with the number of cells, i.e. it's higher for the 16 Gbit die. But similar if one creates a certain capacity from either 12 or 16 Gbit dies.

    Power per die: some functionality is needed once for every memory chip, e.g. talking / listening to the bus. This power should stay approximately constant, independent of the die capacity. And it would be lower if a set capacity is achieved with fewer chips of higher density.

    So for any config using more than 1 chip I wouldn't bet on the new chips consuming more power than the 12 Gbit ones - independent of process and design tweaks.

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