Fast memory is crucial for the performance of high-end system-on-chips that are getting more sophisticated every year. When it comes to smartphones, the most obvious way to boost memory performance is to push its data transfer rate. Apparently, this is what Micron and SK Hynix are doing with their new LPDDR5X and LPDDR5T DRAMs that boast a data transfer rate of 9.6 GT/s.

Micron's LPDDR5X-9600 memory devices are made on the company's latest 1β (1-beta) process technology. They are offered in up to 16 GB x64 packages (though it is unclear how many actual memory devices these packages integrate). Micron says that its LPDDR5X made on its latest production node boasts up to 30% lower power consumption compared to competing LPDDR5X ICs made on 1α (1-alpha) technology, though this is something to be expected. 

Micron does not disclose how it managed to increase the data transfer rate of its LPDDR5X to 9.6 GT/s, which is a 12% increase compared to 8.53 GT/s, which was once considered the highest speed of LPDDR5X memory. The only thing that the company discloses is that these ICs boast 'enhanced' dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, although DVFS is a part of LPDDR5X specification.

"Generative AI is poised to unleash unprecedented productivity, ease of use, and personalization for smartphone users by delivering the power of large language models to flagship mobile phones," said Mark Montierth, corporate vice president and general manager of Micron's Mobile Business Unit. "Micron's 1β LPDDR5X combined with Qualcomm Technologies' AI-optimized Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform empowers smartphone manufacturers with the next-generation performance and power efficiency essential to enabling revolutionary AI technology at the edge."

SK Hynix is another company to start shipping LPDDR5-9600 memory today, which calls its fastest LPDDR5 DRAMs LPDDR5T (T stands for Turbo). The new memory will be available in 16 GB packages with a VDD voltage range of 1.01V to 1.12V and a VDDQ of 0.5v. By contrast, LPDDR5X should have a maximum VDD voltage of 1.1V, so LPDDR5T is slightly out of LPDDR5X spec.

Meanwhile, both Micron's LPDDR5X-9600 and SK Hynix's LPDDR5T-9600 are compatible with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 system-on-chip for smartphones, the two compares announced on Tuesday. Micron is already shipping its 16 GB LPDDR 9.6 GT/s modules featuring a 76.8 GB/s peak bandwidth, so expect some of Qualcomm's partners to use the world's fastest mobile memory shortly. SK Hynix's module has been validated by Qualcomm, so the South Korean company will likely begin commercial shipments of its LPDDR5T-9600 product soon.

"We are thrilled that we have met our customers' needs for the ultra-high performance mobile DRAM with the provision of the LPDDR5T," said Sungsoo Ryu, head of DRAM Product Planning at SK Hynix.

Sources: MicronSK Hynix

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  • brucethemoose - Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - link

    Can we get some of this on desktops, please?

    I'm ready to trade away DIMMs for packaged RAM if we get speeds/voltages like this.
  • meacupla - Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - link

    Yeah, the writing is on the wall for DDR5 DIMM. It's slow, power hungry, and can't even hit these speeds. Desktops should switch over to CAMM or SODIMM that can be attached closer to the CPU.
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - link

    Actually, SODIMM is confirmed dead after this generation in favor of CAMM, and DIMMs will be around for at least another generation. DDR5-12600 DIMMs are possible.
  • meacupla - Thursday, October 26, 2023 - link

    I'm fine with DDR5 SODIMM being canned. It runs too hot with a stacked layout.
    Desktop DIMM should go straight to CAMM as well.
    DDR5-12600MT/s is what? 8400? Is it the Triden Z5 with 40-52-52-134 at 1.4V?
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 30, 2023 - link

    Where would you put CAMMs on a desktop board? They're a lie flat design optimized for thinness, meaning they take a lot more space than DDR slots; and we've already covered all the available space on mobos with m.2 slots.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, October 31, 2023 - link

    You put it in under the CPU keep out zone, obviously.
    Have you seen how much room 4x DDR5 DIMM slots and its traces take up?

    Since it's flat, I'm sure it can even be mounted to the rear of the mobo. Not that I think that's necessary, unless it's mITX.
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, October 31, 2023 - link

    This. Using the front and back of a motherboard doubles the number of CAMM connectors. Just using two sides of a CPU permits four connectors and a 512 bit wide aggregate memory interface. That is workstation class performance there. Might be able to use a third side of a CLU to get two more connectors front back for a 768 bit interface. That’s Epyc server territory right there. That is over 900 GByte/s of bandwidth if the 9.6 GT speed can be maintained.
  • kpb321 - Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - link

    Lots of people complain about the soldered down ram in Apple products or thin and light laptops asking for exactly the opposite. Socketed so it can be upgraded later in life or just to avoid the premium of buying the memory from the OEM. LPCAMM might be able to mostly give use the best of both worlds. LPDDRx speed and power advantages but still user up-gradable.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - link

    I think soldered RAM is less of a problem now than it was in the past. Almost out of the box, PCs needed a RAM upgrade just to be usable about 20 years ago. Now, though 8GB is a bit of a pinch for some people, mundane workloads like poking around the web, communicating, crunching a spreadsheet and whatnot are all not in dire straits and 8GB has been kind of a standard experience since Ivy Bridge was a thing a decade ago. Yeah I wouldn't buy a NEW PC with only 8GB, but the laptops my office supplies to employees and purchased in 2021 had 8GB. They work okay. 16 would have been better for longevity, but life cycle replacement is coming in about a year so no one cares enough to do anything about it even though they have a single memory stick and could be easily upgraded. At this point, I'd argue that soldered RAM is good enough if it saves costs, power, and leaves a little more internal volume for battery or an extra USB port.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, October 30, 2023 - link

    The 4 and 2 GB computers of the past were described the same way you describe 8GB now. Surprisingly, they were not actually, fine, they were slow AF.

    8GB now is nearly unusable. They dont work fine for any serious office work where you have more then 1 spreadsheet open. Especially once you have all the corporate monitoring tools, antivirus, management software, ece installed.

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