Smartphones with 4GB of DDR3 memory set to debut by year’s end

Daniel Bader

June 10, 2013 5:11 pm

SK-Hynix-Intros-20nm-DDR3L-RS-DRAM-With-Reduced-Standby-Power-2
Do you worry that the 2GB of RAM inside your Nexus 4 or HTC One just isn’t enough? Want to be the person who says his phone has more memory than his 2006-era desktop PC? Your time will come, perhaps sooner than you think.

SK Hynix, one of the world’s largest memory manufacturers and direct competitor to Samsung, has announced that it will begin manufacture of 8Gb (1GB) LPDDR3 RAM modules, which can be stacked together to tally 4GB, by the end of the year.

The chips will be some 25% faster than current-generation LPDDR3 chips such as those inside the Galaxy S4, but the main thing here is the density: these chips will work nicely with Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 800 SoC and improved camera modules in next year’s crop of smartphones.

SK Hynix is moving to a 20nm manufacturing process for these modules, which will be thinner, lighter and more energy-efficient than their current counterparts. The first recipients of the 4GB combination will begin this year, but will be far more common by Q2 2014.

Via: Engadget

  • Ziggy Strawczynski

    As much (and faster) RAM as my 5 year-old Studio 15 sounds nuts, but I have to wonder what I’ll be using this much RAM for (assuming no impact on battery life). The 2 GB in my Nexus 4 keeps the phone running buttery smooth. What desktop apps or RAM-intensive tasks will mobile apps be doing that will require this? Or is it just future-proofing?

    • Robin Mitchell Wakerell

      More than likely future-proofing or for people who don’t dabble in even the most basic of task managers.

    • Ziggy Strawczynski

      An S4 pro, with 2 GB of RAM and Android 4.x.x (and future updates) should have no need for a task manager other than the native one in Android.

    • Robin Mitchell Wakerell

      Some people don’t even know that one exists, I kid you not.

    • Zed

      if you ever read any development for android, that’s a basic thing to know, but I suppose you’re right. In any case, I don’t think I’ve seen my One slow down in the 1 month of usage I had so far

    • Richard Hobson

      I think on of the biggest things that get overlooked even on phones with 2GB ram on them now is doing real-time data manipulation tasks and still have that phone working buttery smooth as you put it. Thinks like heavy real-time in camera image processing. AR stuff like what Nokia has been spouting on about in their maps app, full-time Google glass integration, streaming data to your mobile device. Always on voice controls. all require more memory, and if we start to see a lot more apps that require real-time as you use data more memory is going to become a requirement.

      I’d also love my mobile device to become powerful enough that I can plug it into a multitude of platforms and use it in place of my desktop PC. I’d love to have a monitor a keyboard at home and one in the office and When I get there I just set the phone on the desk pad and start using the larger interfaces. And it still needs to be able to do this, and let me pick it up to answer a call if the need arises. ;)

    • HiKsFiles

      With respect to your second paragraph, I honestly think we’re only a few years away from this. It’s not a matter of “if” as it is a matter of “when” it’ll happen. People already adopted mobility and are now asking for more. This is the logical next step.

    • Richard Hobson

      It’s my hope that we will start seeing GOOD options that allow for this. Dumb terminals or even smart terminals that have proper and useful smart-device integration, the Motorola Atrix with it’s dock was a cool first step, but we need docks that don’t require a specific device. Ones that anyone with a compatible device can simply plug into.

    • RoboBonobo

      Canonical is working on developing phones that fit into a dock on your desk and plugs into a mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc; allowing you to run Ubuntu with your phone as a portable desktop. Motorola used to have a lapdock that would turn your phone into a laptop, but they abandoned it because smartphone technology wasn’t mature (fast) enough yet, for that type of application.
      We’re likely moving into the era where you only need one device which can serve as your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, home theatre, etc.. all from one device, using various docking stations.

    • Richard Hobson

      They are, but the ecosystem is still Ubuntu. I want ecosystem agnostic devices. Ones that connect at a hardware level, not because of the OS installed on them.

    • RoboBonobo

      That’s what this is; the phone just happens to be running Ubuntu.
      If you get a different phone with a compatible connector for the dock, you can run a different OS on it too. It just happens that nobody else is working on this, so for now it will just be Ubuntu.

    • KID ANDROID

      My S4 takes over 1gb of RAM at idle so add S-Pen features plus whatever else Samsung’s going to pack in the Galaxy Note 3 & that is why these massive RAM are needed. Can’t wait to get a GN3

    • TheOnlyAdvantageToLiveInQuebec

      My Nexus 4 takes 600mb. Crappy touchwizz.

    • KID ANDROID

      Your Nexus 4 is the most basic Android you can get. Touch wiz is awesome with all the smart scroll, smart stay, air view ect. Your phone can’t do that, which is the same reason your Nexus 4 is so cheap

    • TheOnlyAdvantageToLiveInQuebec

      That’s what I like about my Nexus phone, it doesn’t do all this unnecessary stuff and doesn’t full my ram with it.

      Plus it’s not a full plastic phone for 700$.

    • KID ANDROID

      That’s what’s great about Android because I find the Nexus 4 unappealing and the glass back very unnecessary. So everybody gets what they like and has a ton of choice. I love the plastic build because of its light weight and since I always put a case on it I could care less what it’s made of. I have the HTC ONE (review unit from HTC) right now and it’s a beautiful phone but who cares if it’s made if metal when you need a case on it just as much as my plastic S4 or Note 2’s, unless you want to fix or replace it if you accidentally drop the thing because the glass display will break just as easy on it as my plastic devices.

    • TP

      Technology is not about ‘need’, it’s all about ‘want’ and ‘show off’.
      People do not need 8MP garbage sensor attached to garbage lens. It’s just there because people want higher number and manufacturers want to show off.

    • Aiden

      You’ve obviously never pushed your phone, or any computer for that matter, to the limit before. More RAM is a good thing not just to “show off” but so you can pre-load in more textures in video games and run more real-time data conversion tasks.

  • Dave

    I feel like this is one of those things that companies push saying “this is what you want/need” when you dont really need it. Its a phone for crying out loud, how much multi tasking is really necessary for this?

    • Dan

      Having more ram significantly increases the phone’s performance and allows bigger and better games on our mobile devices. I am a heavy multitasker and yes, the extra ram is completely necessary.

    • Dave

      yeah but a phone? (A pure)Tablet sure. I have 1 gig and have never had trouble running things like netfliz, youtube, osmosis HD, sudoku, FB, twitter, foursquare, IG, gmail, text msging apps, phone, Maps, TED open in the background. These are the things that I’m running right now and my phone is still running smooth.

    • Dan

      I have a Note 2, so the ram helps. Just as a side note, I have 187mb free ram and I’m not doing anything particularly demanding with my phone right now. However, the programs that are cached will open way faster than a program that’s fully unloaded from memory.

    • Aiden

      Wow that seems odd. On mine I have about 700 mb free with me running all sorts of tasks in the background.

    • Dan

      It also depends on how many apps you have installed as stuff gets cached in the memory too. Unused ram is considered wasted ram as it’s not providing any benefit to the user, which is why frequently clearing your ram isn’t suggested.

  • jackjiarocks

    What is the point of a 4GB memory in a smartphone?

    • ConsciousConsumer

      Why not? In the future I want my smartphone to be my smartphone, laptop and desktop and powerful enough to do everything. I just want to be able to connect my smartphone to a dock system and go… Sort of what Motorola tried with the Atrix but WAY more powerful.

    • jackjiarocks

      but, your smartphone wont be your laptop and desktop, and no matter how good the ram is, you will not ever need more than 2gb ram. What will you run exactly with 4gb ram? BF3?!

    • ummmm

      Scalability. Just because you don’t need it now does not mean you won’t later. It provides the possibility to do things that would require more memory. Not only that, as memory technology advances the cost of producing old/smaller storage/slower modules becomes higher. You do realize that PCs are being replaced by smartphones and tablets for the average consumer right??

    • RoboBonobo

      You can run a desktop operating system, and plug it into a docking station with a mouse, monitor and keyboard…
      At that point, your smartphone very well could replace your laptop, desktop, tablet, etc…
      Canonical is already working on developing phones that run Ubuntu and can dock to obliviate the need for a dedicated desktop computer.

    • ConsciousConsumer

      Well, I have 32GB is my desktop right now and I utilize every single bit of it daily. I am a photographer and do large panoramic images with my D800E. Each file can be be 15-20GB… I would love my smartphone to be able to handle that sort of load in the future (I want to see it within five years Samsung! ;-) )

    • HiKsFiles

      Remember that Bill Gates himself once said that PCs would NEVER require more than 640KB of RAM… ;)

    • hardy83

      I see a point.

      However I also see the constant growth of CPU, GPU and other tech getting better and better and battery tech just sitting where it’s been sitting for a whole.

      Phones don’t last a day anymore when they use to last a week on a charge.
      At what point will companies start putting more money into battery tech?

  • beyond

    still won’t be enough for Android

    • Garrett Cooper

      The 2GB in my N4 is more than adequate

    • Zed

      the 2gb in my One say hi, we’re doing fine, thanks

    • ns.dev

      How odd, my crap phone with 512MB runs fine.

  • Chris

    I’m due for a new phone next summer, this is good news
    Still rocking that GS2

    • Garrett Cooper

      Good Phone for what it is, I’ve had 2. I do miss the size of that phone that’s for sure.

  • Sanjay Kumar

    4gb ram !!!
    So most likely the resolution would be 4k.

  • Mark

    4GB is probably long past overkill for a mobile device unless you’re doing some hardcore gaming. As someone who does almost no gaming on my device I still say LONG LIVE OVERKILL!!!

    • RoboBonobo

      They could have a desktop dock and replace your PC. That’s what I’m hoping for.

  • PT

    Consumers do not need any more faster phones. What consumer bably need is more power of the batteries. Why this is so hard for the manufacture not to figure out?

    • ummmm

      You act as if there is some magic wand to fix every technical problem that exists. There isn’t. Manufacturers are aware that battery tech is lagging and R&D $ is going into it and methods for being more efficient to lessen power consumption….

  • S2556

    Moto X phone:
    1080P IPS
    4GB RAM
    2.3GHZ Snapdragon 800
    Android 4.3
    8MP Camera
    3000mAh Battery

    • John

      Moto x phone:
      720p
      2 GB RAM
      1.7 GHz snapdragon 400
      Android 4.3

    • S2556

      unfortunately. I may have described the note 3 though. just swap IPS for Super AMOLED

  • Visionov

    4GB ehh? Why you need 4GBs of RAM? Because you’re probably running Android.