Samsung has introduced a new lineup of all-in-one memory packages for smartphones that integrate both DRAM and storage. The latest generation of uMCP devices now feature up to 12 GB of LPDDR4X DRAM as well as NAND flash storage with a UFS 3.0 interface, thus providing high performance memory for mainstream handsets in a cost-effective form-factor.

Samsung’s UFS-based multichip packages (uMCPs) integrate 10 GB or 12 GB of LPDDR4X-4266 memory (made using the company’s 2nd Generation 10nm-class process technology) as well as NAND flash storage featuring a UFS 3.0 interface. Since both new uMCP modules incorporate four DRAM devices, they will allow the latest SoCs with quad-channel LPDDR4X memory controllers to reach up to 34.1 GB/s memory bandwidth. Meanwhile on the NAND side of matters, Samsung's official announcement doesn't list what storage capacities will be available there, but the company has commented that they can provide the uMCPs in a variety of capacities.

Meanwhile, the new uMCP devices are also mechanically compatible with Samsung's previous-generation 8GB uMCPs, utilizing the same 254FBGA package.

Samsung's uMCPs w/ UFS 3.0 Storage
  DRAM NAND
10 GB 2×24 Gb (3 GB) + 2×16 Gb (2 GB) devices eUFS 3.0
12 GB 4×24 Gb (3 GB) devices eUFS 3.0

Today, only high-end smartphones come equipped with 12 GB of LPDDR4X memory, but Samsung expects its new uMCPs to enable upcoming mid-range handsets to feature 10 GB or 12 GB of DRAM. The new uMCP devices are already in mass production, so expect smartphones launching in the coming months to use them.

Samsung did not disclose pricing of its 10 GB uMCP and 12 GB uMCP chips, but expect them to cost in accordance with prices of DRAM and storage.

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Source: Samsung

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  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Actually we're going in the opposite direction, with CPUs and GPUs integrating specialized accelerators. Take the RT and Tensor cores in Turing for example. Or what about the diverging of consumer and datacenter GPUs?

    That's because while density gains are good, performance is nearly entirely limited by power, and power reduction using a new process is a fraction of what it once was.

    HPC guys are predicting we'll soon see accelerators(includes CPUs) with 1KW of power!

    Also achieving super high bandwidth in memory requires using solutions not practical in the consumer space. Because HBM continues to be prohibitely expensive and difficult to implement not just with packaging, but stacking the die to allow it to have such bandwidth.

    That doesn't mean it will die. It'll surely exist but for premium systems. Watch as both laptops/pcs and phones reach new premium price points.
    Reply
  • Raqia - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    I think what you say about heterogeneity of architecture will continue to be true for the very high end which is often a large scale experimental hodge-podge, doesn't have strict power envelopes and located in specialized facilities with large budgets. I think the paradigm of integration at the lower end will begin to creep up into higher end in the coming years though.

    As for power, if anything much more energy is now used to move around data than to do actual computations. A natural way to reduce this cost is tighter integration for shorter distances and fewer off die components. Methods using TSVs seem impractical today, but there are far more commercial examples of such in AMD GPUs and Broadcom Jericho switches than just a few years ago; related TSV techniques are also on the roadmaps of both Intel and TSMC in FOVEROS and WoW manufacturing techniques.

    Even die bonded DRAM is superior to DIMMs for many practical form factors in wide use today and this seemed like an impractical and expensive technology just a few years back when packaging techniques were less sophisticated. For a growing subset of standard users, solutions like this will be more than good enough and be cheaper as well as more power efficient.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    What you are fighting here is conservatism, and physics+reality are no match for conservatism.
    If I was able to change DIMMs in my system from 5 years ago, I should be able to do so forever!!!

    Notice that no-one complains about not being able to make this change in contexts where they were never able to do so --- eg mobile phones, or HBM, or RAM on a GPU card... That's the clear tell that these complaints are based on conservatism, on an anger that the world is changing, not on any sort of rational analysis.
    Reply
  • Bulat Ziganshin - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    It's not only about upgrades, but also about flexibility of config. Imagine you want 9400F cpu with 8 GB of ram and 256 GB Evo970 disk. Now it can be built right at the local store. While for smartphone, each store should have a supply of exact configs, resulting in much less actual choice. Reply
  • Raqia - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Perhaps, but if SoC cost is sufficiently low and specs sufficiently high, there might not need to be so many permutations and customers could be satisfied with just a few tiers instead of needing the granularity of many different permutations at the cost of more complex mobos with extra DIMM and bus slots that sit idle for most consumers and put resources further away from each other. The smartphone industry has demonstrated that this lack of granularity has been perfectly fine for many years, and configurability for its own sake is becoming a niche for hobbyists.

    I would feel bad for devoted hobbyists having been one myself, but at the same time, we're getting lower costs, better form factors, efficiency, and performance. I think the relentless pace of fabs fueled by mobile SoC revenues, performance benefits of SoC integration, and open licensing of IP under a fabless model is pushing costs much lower and specs much higher to the point where a few tiers of inexpensive SoCs will satisfy the whole market by 2030 for even high end consumer desktop class needs.
    Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Yeah, I can see these being worth the compromise of non-expandability in a thin laptop form factor. Especially two or four of them, even in higher priced professional form factors.

    I somehow see the ARM 8cx based laptops making use of these first.
    Reply
  • drexnx - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    I think you have the device configurations flipped for 12GB vs. 10GB Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Where is the 8 GB CONFIGURATION? Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Samsung Launches these modules
    &
    unfortunately we never come to know which phones are using it
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, October 24, 2019 - link

    Are there use cases coming soon for mobile platforms to take advantage of 10-12GB of RAM? My current phone has 2GB and it isn't starved for memory despite haivng taken over a lot of tasks that I used to perform on a laptop or desktop including most of my gaming. My Windows laptop only has 8GB and it doesn't seem to be memory starved, though I will readily admit it does very little these days aside from two to four browser tabs and a Word doc, maybe an older game (Bay Trail with passive cooling so it's CPU, GPU, and thermally limited). The only situation in my personal usage model that really can smother a system is when I'm testing and with tinkering a fair number of virtualized systems. In that instance, I can easily fill 16GB in my Linux test laptop and I wish I had a 32GB for some breathing room for the host OS that's not somethign I can yet do on my phone although I would happily entertain the idea of doing so if multitasking improves and I can more easily use a keyboard, mouse, and external monitor with a mobile device via a fully wireless docking solution. Reply

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