Apple iOS devices likely to shift to next-gen LPDDR4 DRAM this year

“Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPad Air both use 1GB LPDDR3 SDRAM from Elpida. With Apple being the first to introduce a 64bit processor this year, we’re likely to see Apple shift to the upcoming LPDDR4 standard in the fall of 2014. It will allow Apple to advance their Retina display quality to the next level,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“With the advancement of Apple’s A7 to 64bit and with yet higher resolution displays on the way, the DRAM performance must also be improved in proportion. What matters is power consumption,” Purcher reports. “The existing LPDDR2 or LPDDR3 DRAM cannot withstand the power consumption necessary for high-performance APs and displays. That’s why the low-power interface-based LPDDR4 DRAM is needed. If the LPDDR4 DRAM is adopted, the DRAM capacity can be increased by 40% for the same power consumption.”

“Whether Apple will be remain with Elpida or switch to another supplier for LPDDR4 DRAM is unknown at this time,” Purcher reports. “While SK Hynix is awaiting industry approval for their LPDDR4, Samsung’s spokesman Benjamin Lee confirms that their product has been approved.”

Read more in the full article here.

33 Comments

    1. Afraid so Bucko, from Wikipedia:

      On March 14, 2012, JEDEC hosted a conference to explore how future mobile device requirements will drive upcoming standards like LPDDR4.[13] On December 30, 2013, Samsung announced that it has developed the first 20 nm-class 8 Gigabit (1GB) LPDDR4 capable of transmitting data at 3,200 Mbit/s, thus providing 50 percent higher performance than the fastest LPDDR3 and consuming around 40 percent less energy at 1.1 volts.[14]

      1. Its a shame, samsung is actually good at making incremental improvements in memory chips. They should have stayed with their strengths rather than trying to rip off iPhone with a crap rood copy. Seems like the only decent ‘roid hardware I ever held was HTC’s and that unfortunately was spoiled by the ‘roid software (laggy and glitchy as usual) Samsung however doesn’t even seem to be able to make decent hardware to run googles crap android OS on. That anyone buys galaxy phones is truly the wonder.

    2. Apple will continue to use Samsung as a supplier of components. If Apple does not, it just means abundant and cheaper supplies of those components for all of Apple’s competitors. Apple will not give up the competitive advantage of being able order a huge volume of parts in advance (to tie up future production capacity of those parts), to make production more expensive for the competition. (Unfortunately, Samsung supplies itself with many of these parts for its own “gadget” business.)

      What Apple will do is broaden its list of suppliers, to not be overly dependent on Samsung for the production of key components.

      1. The only key component made by samsung in the iPhone 5s is the A7. Currently samsung makes nothing else for apple.
        Thats according to the latest list of components in the iPhone 5s from IHS iSupplies teardown. Not even the screen is made by shamsung its made by LG and Japan Display.

        1. What? iPhone 5s is the only product Apple currently produces?

          Apple also makes the iPhone 5C and 4S, as well as iPads and iPods, and even those old-school Macs. I would define RAM and flash storage as key components. I don’t know about the iPhone 5s, but Samsung supplies displays for iPads.

          Also, the A7 is a key component, but only Apple uses that part (although Apple does use up Samsung’s production capacity in general to make that part in volume). It’s the more common key component that allow Apple to influence worldwide availability and pricing, for the competition. And that is why Apple will continue to buy from Samsung, if Samsung is providing the best combination of price, quality, and volume.

    1. As I often point out: There is no point in providing display resolution beyond the capacity of the human eye to detect it. That’s what the Retina displays are all about. That’s why 4K displays are a waste of money for most purposes.

      1. “…for most purposes.” Are you saying that 1080 resolution on an 85″ TV is sufficient? I’ve been shopping for a screen bigger than my 42″ and been leaning towards 4K because making bigger 1080 pixels just looks stupid on 55″ and larger.

        1. It’s not about the size of the screen, it’s about the perceived inter-pixel distance. That means the viewing distance need to be taken into
          At 12-16″ away (like you hold an iPad) you need 200-250 ppi in a desktop monitor (like the 27 iMac) viewed at two or three 120 ppi looks… spectacular.
          Same with TV’s typically the larger screens are used in larger rooms and viewed from greater distances.
          So you if you sat 5′ from a 60″ screen it would look grainy, however most of that grain would be from the content.
          Although 4K distribution in feature film is widespread, (to theaters using digital projection) 4K content available to consumers is virtually nonexistent.
          4K does allow for a considerably sharper (or wider field of view) and much network TV (and virtually all “A” level feature films) are being shot & edited at 4K. How soon that will be available to consumers in their homes is an unknown.

          If you feel that it will soon be available, perhaps a 4K set is what you should get. On the other hand if you wait till there is actually some 4K distribution to consumers, I’m betting that the 4k monitors will be considerably less than they are today.

        2. Agreed!

          But you’re going WHOPPER TV!

          The usual way to judge a display size is to figure out how far away you want to sit from the screen. Take that distance to the display and use it as the diagonal length of the display screen you want.

          For an 85″ screen size you’d ideally want to sit 85″ away. Most likely you’re using it as a home theatre with a lot of people viewing.

          From there, you figure what is the ideal pixel density. The figure varies but these days 300 pixels per inch (PPI) is considered the upper limit.

          4K provides standard pixel dimensions of 3840 pixels across × 2160 scan lines down. That’s 8,294,400 pixels.

          I’m not going to do the trigonometry today. So here are a couple links that help in choosing a TV:

          http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000021501

          http://www.techradar.com/us/news/television/hdtv/best-tv-2013-what-tv-should-you-buy-this-year-709255

      2. Exactly right. Making any screen higher than about what the Retina pixel density is on the iPad is a total waste of the additional pixels, RAM and speed. About 325+/-25 dpi is about it for most human eyes to resolve. What’s the retina iPad? 332 dpi if I remember correctly. Now if they make 20″ iPad Helium, you will need the higher resolution to get the display to look the same.

        1. Helpful:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retina_Display

          “Because the typical viewing distance is different, depending on each device’s use, the pixels per inch claimed to be of Retina quality can differ, depending on the size of the display, with higher PPI for smaller displays and lower PPI for larger displays: 326 PPI for the smallest devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini (2nd generation)), 264 PPI for mid-sized devices (iPad, including iPad Air), and 220 PPI for larger devices (MacBook Pro).”

    1. Since elpida is owned by micron and memory is there business you can count there version is not far behind.
      I live next to a micron memory research facility and can tell you they are probably just waiting for approval. Its done and already in the bag.

  1. Retina display has the advantage of “point of diminishing retunes”. Yes other devices can have more pixels, however the improvement is not that noticeable with most task. This comes at the expense of battery life and size, which are more important to Apple. I believe Apple will use RAM improvements for something else than Retina display. I’m hoping for haptic. Being able to use your phone without looking would be a real improvement.

  2. Forget that! Apple blew it on WiFi which should be their focus. I don’t need a machine so thin it can’t fit the new ac chip. I just sold my gen 1 and other than now being able to use iOS 7 the rest isn’t big enough of an upgrade. The iPad air workflow WiFi speed wise is a bandaid and waste. If I need super Rez I work on my Mac Pro. I really don’t care that much about Retina. Nice, but a far 2nd to WiFi speed. Losing 25% out the gate from a wire Mac in 2014 is unacceptable which seems based on a focus on footprint rather than function. Get the functions top of the line, then let Jony loose on the design.

    1. Well, that’s one opinion, and it’s yours. Sadly, you state it as though it’s a universal truth, which it most certainly is not. For example, I know a number of senior citizens switching to the iPad Air precisely because the weight is easier on their tired joints. They arrived at their decision after I facilitated their trying out iPad mini and iPad Air so the choice was an informed one. They needed the larger screen for their eyes coupled with the lighter weight (vs their iPad 1s and 2s).

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