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Bursting the RAM Bubble | DRAM in Smartphones Explained!

In this smartphone age, when we are surrounded by the smartest buyers, we do not run a sales pitch but a reality check!

Previously, we talked about Google Voice Search and its origin in our ever-evolving tech savvy world. This time, we have come up with something heavier than air i.e. DDR and DRAM in smartphones. Before you switch on to another blog, video or channel, understand the fact that; knowing about DRAM can entirely affect your smartphone buying decisions. Knowing about your phone’s RAM capacity (4GB, 6GB etc.) differs from knowing the RAM type (LPDDR3, LPDDR4 etc.). Interestingly, from the battery performance to multitasking, the use of DRAM type impacts it all.

RAM and DRAM – The Basics

We all have read or heard about RAM as Random-Access Memory which is used to store all the critical files and information. This information can be anything from app data to gaming graphics. But the RAM which is used in smartphones is called as DRAM (D-Dynamic RAM-Random Access Memory).

 

As explained on Wikipedia, “Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) is a type of random access semiconductor memory that captures each bit (piece) of data in a separate tiny capacitor. Here, everything happens within an integrated circuit. The electric charge on the capacitors gradually dribbles, so without any mediation, the data on the chip would be gone. To eradicate this, DRAM goes through an external memory refresh circuit that intermittently rewrites the data in the capacitors. It also restores everything to their original charge. This renewing process is the underlined feature of DRAM dynamic random-access memory, as compared to static random-access memory(SRAM).”

If the above paragraph written in intense jargons, did not please you, simply understand that, RAM is a type of temporary memory that stores momentary data or retains just a handful of information. The agile technology is highly useful for devices like smartphones.

DRAM Generations:

LP-DDR (1) – A light alteration from DDR SDRAM undermining the power consumption.

LP-DDR2 – Specified for mobile computers DDR synchronous DRAM for smartphones with comparatively lower power consumption. Also, the transfer rate elevates with a better I/O signal.

LP-DDR3 – Released with expanded bandwidth. Some of the early generation premium smartphones contained LP-DDR3.

LP-DDR4 – As published by JEDEC it included:

  • Lowered transfer size
  • Enhanced interface functioning

LP-DDR4x – Further reduction in power consumption and prolonged battery life of the device.

Why DRAM is Affordable?

Since, it does not contain any permanent data stored in it, it runs on the need to keep refreshing itself. This makes the DRAM circuitry quite a convoluted setup as compared to SRAM (Static Random-Access Memory). Since, DRAM for smartphones uses transistors and capacitors to perform, it touches a higher density scope. Turns out, this makes DRAM a desirable option for consumer centric digital electronics such as Smartphones. Initially, it might appear as a ‘bait and switch’ marketing, but the transistors and capacitors actually hold very small area making use of just one memory chip. However, to save use of DRAM from the claims of higher power consumption, there has been significant improvements in its power-consumption capacity.

 

Sectioning of DDR/DRAM for Smartphones

As mentioned on Wikipedia, “Low-Power Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, is referred as LPDDR SDRAM, is a variety that absorbs lower power which runs specially for mobile computers”.

Since, we have known the fact that, LPDDR is the core of data-processing consumer devices such as mobile computing, smartphones, servers etc. In the latest flair, we have LPDDR4 that is made to enhance the memory speed and impacting the device efficiency.

Remember we talked about power consumption management of DRAM? This is where DDR4 fits in. LPDDR4, the voguish version has achieved great bandwidth, reducing power consumption. After this generation, we also have an upper-hand called LTDDR4x that is available in the latest phones including Vivo’s V15 Pro. LPDDR4x vows to power saving memory that maintains the good battery-juice in the phones.

But how?

If you are determined about knowing the logic, here it is!

By integrating dual channel, LPDDR4 has managed to achieve a quicker data path which results in controlled usage of power. In LPDDR4, the travel distance between memory array to I/O (Input/Output) pads has been dramatically reduced. As compared to single channel travel, dual-channel architecture can carry 32 data bits with 16 bits in each channel.

 

 

LPDDR4x 6GB DRAM in Vivo V15 Pro

The Vivo V15 Pro’s Snapdragon 675 along with Android Pie upgrade is a heavenly combination for controlled power consumption. Yet, the phone has another major upgrade in the form of LPDDR4x RAM type. Although, we have other phones with LPDDR4 GB RAM phones, but V15 Pro a sure upgrade here. Mostly, we pay attention to phone’s RAM capacity rather than the type. However, it is a layered information which plays a pioneer role in providing an elite experience to users. As explained above LPDDR4x is the hot-fashion in RAM segment of smartphones. The ‘Always Connected and Trendy’ badge is possible to maintain, only when we get a phone with upgraded memory technology and lower power usage.

 

We hope that, this time, we were able to fill your knowledge kitty with something exceptionally useful information on use of DRAM for smartphones. Since, the light of the innovation must not blind you but enlighten your vision, we adopt a vision of keeping our users updated with true facts of smartphone trends.

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