LPDDR5X: High Bandwidth, Power Efficient Performance For Mobile & Beyond

Tracing the evolution of data rates in mobile-focused memory.


Looking back over recent history in the memory landscape, we can clearly see a trend of new applications growing sufficiently large enough to command the creation of new memory technologies tailored to their specific needs. We saw this with the creation of GDDR for graphics and later HBM for AI/ML applications. Low-Power Double Data Rate (LPDDR) emerged as a specialized memory designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The evolution of LPDDR has been driven primarily by the need for higher performance and lower power consumption in mobile devices tied to the growth of the mobile market in general and several key market trends. Each new generation of LPDDR has delivered the performance needed for major shifts in mobile user experience from social media and gaming, to 4K and now even 8K video.

LPDDR evolved from DDR memory technology, and over the course of its lifetime the standard has advanced considerably to incorporate new features designed to meet the evolving needs of the mobile market. LPDDR1 provided lower power consumption and improved performance compared to traditional DDR memory. Released by JEDEC in 2009, LPDDR2 delivered many new enhancements over the first generation LPDDR. It offered advanced power management features, a shared interface for nonvolatile memory (NVM) and volatile memory (SDRAM), and an extended range of densities and speeds.

In 2012, the release of LPDDR3 offered an even higher data rate, greater bandwidth and power efficiency, and higher memory density. LPDDR4/4X took performance up a notch again with data transfer rates of up to 4.266 Gbps, twice that of LPDDR3. To achieve this performance there was a major change to the standard’s architecture from a one-channel die with 16 bits per channel to a two-channel die with 16 bits per channel, for a total of 32 bits.

LPDDR5, and the optional extension LPDDR5X, are the most recent updates to the standard. Fifth-generation LPDDR is focused on improving performance, power and flexibility. LPDDR5/LPDDR5X taken together offer data rates up to 8.533 Gb/s, significantly boosting speed and performance. Given the space considerations of mobile combined with greater memory needs for advanced applications, LPDDR5X can achieve capacities of up to 64GB by using multiple DRAM in a multi-die package.  With its low power consumption and high bandwidth capabilities, LPDDR5X is a great choice of memory not just for cutting-edge mobile devices, but also mobile-influenced applications such as AR/VR, as well as AI/ML inference applications where power efficiency and compact form factor are crucial considerations.

Rambus offers Digital Controller IP for LPDDR5/5X and LPDDR4/4X that are fully optimized for use in applications requiring high memory throughput and low latency. The cores support all LPDDR5/5X and LPDDR4/4X channel densities up to and including 32Gb per channel and are delivered fully integrated and verified with the target LPDDR PHY. Add-on cores such as an AXI Core Bus Interface, Multi-Port Front-End and In-Line ECC core can be optionally delivered with the core.


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