The amount of RAM that manufacturers pack into our mobile devices will only increase as time goes by. It seems like only yesterday that 2 GB was reserved for premium handsets, but now you can find much cheaper mid-rangers featuring that much memory.
However, the latest crop of Android flagship phablets now ship with 4 GB of RAM. Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus are prime examples, and so is the more expensive OnePlus 2 model. And you can expect next year's batch of standard-sized flagships to follow suit, if not exceed them. But, pretty soon, that too will no longer be enough. Thanks to Samsung, in the near future our high-end mobile devices will have 6 GB of RAM.
It is a bit crazy if you think about it. There are plenty of Windows laptops and Macs which ship with just 4 GB of RAM. And I say "just" because you can add more, as long as you are willing to pay and the possibility exists. My 2013 MacBook Air, which is not exactly all that different to the 2015 iteration, only has 4 GB of RAM, and I cannot complain. Of course, the more you have the easier it is to do certain things.
You will find 4 GB of RAM mostly (if not only) in Android handsets. Whether that much capacity is needed to ensure things run smooth enough is debatable, but it certainly helps to make up for poorly-optimised software and keep many more apps running in background at the same time - without being forced to reload the content when the user resumes activity. Most important of all, however, more RAM gives manufacturers one more thing to brag about and tempt consumers with.
Current mobile devices which have 4 GB of RAM inside reach this capacity by employing four modules of 8 Gb each (that is equal to 1 GB). What Samsung has done to make possible an increase to 6 GB is, obviously, increase the capacity of each module by 50 per cent, from 1 GB to 1.5 GB.
"The 12Gb LPDDR4 enables 3 gigabyte (GB) or 6GB of mobile DRAM in a single package using just two chips and four chips respectively, while being the only solution that can provide a 6GB LPDDR4 package", claims Samsung.
Also worth noting is that the memory package itself takes the same space, no matter if it contains four modules of 1.5 GB (6 GB of RAM in total) or only two (for 3 GB of RAM in total). This, Samsung suggests, will allow manufacturers to come up with fewer unique designs, which, in turn, will basically translate into lower manufacturing costs for smartphones and tablets.
The increase is size is not the only benefit that comes with the new RAM modules. They are touted to be 30 percent faster than the currently-implemented generation, offering speeds of 4,266 Mbps - it is said to be twice as fast as DDR4 RAM for PCs - and also more energy efficient, thanks to a decrease in power consumption by 20 percent.
Samsung says that we will be able to put 6 GB of RAM to the test in the next generation of flagships. My gut tell me that this this means high-end mobile devices that will be launched in the second half of next year.