What you need to know
- Micron has kicked off mass production of its LPDDR5 DRAM module.
- The memory module delivers up to 20% better efficiency and 50% faster data access speeds over LPDDR4X.
- Xiaomi's Mi 10 will be the first phone to leverage LPDDR5 RAM.
If you've used a flagship in the last four years, it featured an LPDDR4 or LPDDR4X DRAM module. The memory standard has remained constant for a while now, but that's set to change later this month. Micron has announced that it is debuting its LPDDR5 DRAM module in Xiaomi's upcoming flagship, the Mi 10.
Micron's LPDDR5 module will bring up to 20% better power efficiency and 50% faster data access speeds from solutions based on LPDDR4X, which is a big deal. The RAM modules will be available in 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB configurations, and it is entirely possible we'll see Xiaomi leverage all three options on the Mi 10.
Micron is also touting data speeds of 5.5Gbps and 6.4Gbps, which is a significant increase over the 4Gbps that was standard with LPDDR4X. Essentially, you're getting memory modules that consume less power and deliver better performance. It's no wonder that Micron says LPDDR5 is ideal for 5G and AI, with both use cases requiring low-latency and high-bandwidth availability.
Micron is offering the module in a UFS-based multichip package that's aimed at mid-tier and high-end phones. The LPDDR5 modules are currently in mass production and will be heading to more phones over the course of 2020. Nubia has confirmed that it will use the module in the Red Magic 5G.
While Micron has secured design wins from Xiaomi and Nubia, it isn't the only memory manufacturer in town. Samsung has kicked off production of its LPDDR5 modules last year, and it is a guarantee that we'll see the DRAM in the Galaxy S20 series, which is slated for an official unveil on February 11.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.