There’s a chance your next smartphone could have more memory than your laptop — assuming you plan to buy a bleeding edge phone and haven’t replaced your laptop in a few years.

Samsung has announced it’s now mass producing 3GB memory chips for smartphones, and SK Hynix recently announced plans to offer 4GB modules.

Samsung 3GB memory

Right now the top performing smartphones have 2GB of memory or less, which is probably more than good enough for most things you’d actually use a phone for these days. Mobile apps and operating systems are generally written for devices with 1GB of less, and having twice that much memory simply helps things run more smoothly (and offers better support for multitasking).

The move to 3GB and beyond will probably continue that trend — although we may also start to see developers write more demanding software that may not run as well on older or cheaper mobile devices.

Samsung says it’s new 20nm chips aren’t just large. They’re also fast. The new memory modules offer data transfer speeds of up to 2,133 Mbps per pin.

Devices featuring Samsung’s new 3GB memory solution should start shipping in the second half of 2013.

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4 replies on “Samsung starts making 3GB memory chips for smartphones”

  1. 3GB seems a slightly curious capacity to aim for. Can’t help suspecting they won’t prove any more economical to fabricate than 4GB ones.

    1. Arm devices have a hard limit of 3GB of RAM in their 32bit memory map with the last GB reserved for devices. They don’t have any sort of segment register tricks everyone became accustomed to with x86.

      On x86 the 16bit CPUs used an segment register associated with each index or stack register, offset by four bits to allow them to address any 64K block out of a 1MB address space. IBM set aside some of that 1MB address space for memory mapped i/o and BIOS roms when designing the original PC, leaving the classic 640K max ram. (Which Bill Gates really never said was good enough, but it is now part of the lore of the industry anyway.) Intel brought it back to their later 32bit parts with the PPro?? because they started to realize 4GB wasn’t going to be enough. So Windows Advanced Server and PAE enabled Linux kernels could use more ram, but no one process could see more than 4GB.

      But ARM is a very Reduced RISC machine and has none of that foolishness. To get more address space they are just moving to a 64bit processor.

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