The Dimensity 9000 is a new and charged flagship mobile chipset from MediaTek with many innovations in its segment. It’s the first mobile 4nm chip, the first to feature ARM’s new Cortex-X2 cores, and the first to use the new Mali G710 GPU. In addition, the Dimensity 9000 is also the first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) to support LPDDR5X-RAM.
LPDDR5X is the latest standard in RAM technology for mobile devices and was only introduced earlier this year. The standard aims to improve data transfer on the RAM chips used on mobile chipsets such as the Dimensity 9000 and its counterparts in the Samsung Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon families.
While we have yet to see how the new standard actually improves the use of RAM on mobile devices, we have some indications of the refinements LPDDR5X brings over LPDDR5. The following sections explain how the two storage technologies compare.
In July 2021, semiconductor trading organization JEDEC announced LPDDR5X as a further development of the then latest generation of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) – ie LPDDR5. This evolutionary standard, LPDDR5X, was designed to increase data processing speed from 6400 megabits per second (Mbit / s) to 8533 Mbit / s, resulting in an increase of almost 33%, which translates into a 25% reduction in latency.
The older LPDDR5 standard was first introduced in early 2020 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. While the early devices that ran on the LPDDR5 standard could only run at speeds of up to 5500 Mbit / s, chipset manufacturers used the full capabilities of the LPDDR5 and increased the data transfer rates to 6400Mbps in subsequent updates. At the time of market launch, the focus was on improving the energy efficiency of LPDDR5 by almost 20% compared to the predecessor standard LPDDR4X.
When JEDEC announced the LPDDR5X standard, it made no mention of the efficiency improvements, so we can expect the DRAM manufacturers to make their own improvements.
While the technology is still in the early stages of adoption, two major DRAM vendors – Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology – have announced that they will be making LPDDR5X RAMs for mobile chipsets. Here are the announcements from each of the semiconductor manufacturers:
Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics announced that it would be jumping on the LPDRR5X bandwagon when it unveiled its 16 Gigabit (Gb) RAM, which was developed using a 14nm DRAM manufacturing process.
Samsung announced that it would work with semiconductor manufacturers to “create a more stable framework for the growing world of digital reality”. The company anticipates that the increasing use of hyper-connected technology applications – such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and metaverse – will lead to an increasing demand for faster, large-scale computing. According to Samsung, this growing demand for faster processing should increase the need for energy-saving and high-performance memory modules not only for smartphones, but also for AR and VR headsets, servers and even self-driving cars.
In line with JEDEC’s announcement, Samsung claims that its LPDDR5X solution will offer data processing rates of up to 8533 Mbps. It is also claimed that the new LPDDR5X modules use 20% less power than the previous standard LPDDR5.
However, Samsung has not announced when the new LPDDR5X memory modules will be available for commercial use. In particular, the Korean electronics giant announced its first LPDDR5 module in 2018, but the first smartphone with this technology didn’t appear until two years later in 2020. It remains to be seen whether we will see an LPDDR5X memory module on Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 – the one expected Name – or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 898 – which could have a much simpler name. We won’t know for sure until we have the final announcement from one of the chipmaker companies.
American memory and flash memory manufacturer Micron technologyannounced that it will be the first to have MediaTek’s LPDDR5X RAM validated for use with the Dimensity 9000 chipset. The company said that its new DRAM module will be based on its advanced “1α (1-alpha) node. ”It also claimed that DRAM modules made with 1-alpha technology consume the lowest power consumption among mobile DRAMs.
When choosing the Dimensity 9000, the LPDDR5X solution from Micron achieved data transfer speeds of up to 7500 Mbit / s. Although it is faster than the 6400Mbps transfer speed of LPDDR5, it still falls short of the highest transfer rates (8533Mbps) supported by the new standard. Based on these results, MediaTek concluded that LPDDR5X modules result in 17% higher transfer speeds and 15% lower latency compared to the previous generation.
MediaTek noted that the new RAM technology will enable ever higher levels of data processing required for the complex and heterogeneous processing units built into modern chipsets. These higher processing capacities will be of crucial importance for the high data requirements of the 5G age.
Although MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 already supports LPDDR5X RAM, the memory controllers are backward compatible and can use older LPDDR5 memory modules. The introduction of newer DRAM technology will depend heavily on the introduction of LPDDR5X RAM in flagships, smartphones and other smart devices in 2022.
The difference in performance between Samsung’s and Micron’s LPDDR5X solutions can only be tested if we compare the Dimensity 9000 with the Snapdragon 888 or the newer chips with the latest RAM technology.
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