updated 11:40 pm EST, Wed December 28, 2011
Elpida mobile RAM twice as fast as before
Elpida on Wednesday started shipping test samples of some of the world's first four-gigabit (512MB), low-power DDR3 memory for mobile devices. The storage is both high capacity but also uses a new technique known as Wide IO to dramatically improve the speed. By moving to an "x512-bit" bandwidth, it would leap to as much as 12.8GB per second, or about 10 times more than usual.
Even with the speed-up, the memory would also improve both battery life and capacity. Elpida estimates that it uses half as much power as low-power DDR2 if lowered to same transfer rate and still chews 25 percent less if the DDR2 is ramped up to match. The memory can stack in chip packages, theoretically allowing 8Gb and 16Gb (1GB and 2GB) on a single chip.
The low-power DDR3 memory is due to go into full production during 2012. Elpida is explicitly targeting the new RAM at smartphones and tablets, where the speed could handle more demanding apps and fully drive newer generations of processors and graphics. Apple and significant other parts of the mobile market have been known to use Elpida memory in the past.