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Samsung Begins Mass Production of Industry’s First 12Gb LPDDR5 Mobile DRAM for Premium Smartphones

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SEOUL, South Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first 12-gigabit (Gb) LPDDR5 mobile DRAM, which has been optimized for enabling 5G and AI features in future smartphones. The new mobile memory comes just five months after announcing mass production of the 12GB LPDDR4X, further reinforcing the company’s premium memory lineup. Samsung also plans to start mass producing 12-gigabyte (GB) LPDDR5 packages later this month, each combining eight of the 12Gb chips, in line with growing demand for higher smartphone performance and capacity from premium smartphone manufacturers.

“With mass production of the 12Gb LPDDR5 built on Samsung’s latest second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) class process, we are thrilled to be supporting the timely launch of 5G flagship smartphones for our customers worldwide,” said Jung-bae Lee, executive vice president of DRAM Product & Technology, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung remains committed to rapidly introducing next-generation mobile memory technologies that deliver greater performance and higher capacity, as we continue to aggressively drive growth of the premium memory market.”

Thanks to its industry-leading speed and power efficiency, Samsung’s new mobile DRAM can enable next-generation flagship smartphones to fully leverage 5G and AI capabilities like ultra-high-definition video recording and machine learning, while greatly extending the battery life.

At a data rate of 5,500 megabits per second (Mb/s), the 12Gb LPDDR5 is approximately 1.3 times faster than previous mobile memory (LPDDR4X, 4266Mb/s) that is found in today’s high-end smartphones. When made into a 12GB package, the LPDDR5 is able to transfer 44GB of data, or about 12 full-HD (3.7GB-sized) movies, in only a second. The new chip also uses up to 30 percent less power than its predecessor by integrating a new circuit design with enhanced clocking, training and low-power feature that ensures stable performance even when operating at a blazingly fast speed.

In order to manage production capacity with more flexibility, Samsung is considering transferring its 12Gb LPDDR5 production to its Pyeongtaek (Korea) campus starting next year, depending on demand from global customers. Following its introduction of the 12Gb LPDDR5 mobile DRAM, Samsung expects to also develop a 16Gb LPDDR5 next year, to solidify its competitive edge in the global memory market.

[Reference] Samsung Mobile DRAM Timeline: Production/Mass Prod.

Date

Capacity

Mobile DRAM

July 2019

12GB

10nm-class 12Gb LPDDR5, 5500Mb/s

June 2019

6GB

10nm-class 12Gb LPDDR5, 5500Mb/s

Feb. 2019

12GB

10nm-class 16Gb LPDDR4X, 4266Mb/s

April 2018

8GB (development)

10nm-class 8Gb LPDDR5, 6400Mb/s

Sept. 2016

8GB

10nm-class 16Gb LPDDR4X, 4266Mb/s

Aug. 2015

6GB

20nm 12Gb LPDDR4, 4266Mb/s

Dec. 2014

4GB

20nm 8Gb LPDDR4, 3200Mb/s

Sept. 2014

3GB

20nm 6Gb LPDDR3, 2133Mb/s

Nov. 2013

3GB

20nm-class 6Gb LPDDR3, 2133Mb/s

July 2013

3GB

20nm-class 4Gb LPDDR3, 2133Mb/s

April 2013

2GB

20nm-class 4Gb LPDDR3, 2133Mb/s

Aug. 2012

2GB

30nm-class 4Gb LPDDR3, 1600Mb/s

2011

1/2GB

30nm-class 4Gb LPDDR2, 1066Mb/s

2010

512MB

40nm-class 2Gb MDDR, 400Mb/s

2009

256MB

50nm-class 1Gb MDDR, 400Mb/s

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

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Trump Admin Extends Limited Reprieve on U.S. Tech Sales to Huawei

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An employee works on a mobile phone production line at a Huawei production base during a media tour in Dongguan, China's Guangdong province on March 6, 2019. (Credit: WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

An employee works on a mobile phone production line at a Huawei production base during a media tour in Dongguan, China’s Guangdong province on March 6, 2019. (Credit: WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration has extended a limited reprieve on U.S. technology sales to Huawei, even as questions remain over how much of an effect broader sanctions are having on the Chinese technology giant.

Huawei has become enmeshed in the trade war between Washington and Beijing, with President Donald Trump showing a willingness to use the sanctions as a bargaining chip. The U.S. government blacklisted Huawei in May, deeming it a national security risk, meaning U.S. firms aren’t allow to sell the company technology without government approval.

At the time, the U.S. exempted a narrow list of products and services. That exemption would have expired Monday, but the Commerce Department extended it for another 90 days, as expected.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the main aim of Monday’s announcement is to give smaller U.S. internet and wireless companies that rely on Huawei more time to transition away from reliance on its products.

“Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei, so we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off,” Ross said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

Other exports to Huawei officially remain restricted, though it’s not clear how much is in practice. Those sanctions, for instance, don’t bar U.S. telecom companies from buying Huawei equipment. And U.S. semiconductor companies that supply Huawei have determined that the export sanctions don’t apply to a significant portion of their sales.

“Most of the ongoing shipments of U.S. semiconductors to China are not covered,” said Paul Triolo, an analyst with the Eurasia Group global risk assessment firm.

The greater effect appears to be on Google’s Android mobile operating system, which Huawei can no longer use in its smartphones. Huawei has developed its own operating system as a replacement, though executives say they still hope to be able to keep using Android.

Huawei released a statement saying Monday’s extension “does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly.” The company said the extension “won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way.”

Huawei is China’s biggest phone maker, and sales to the company account for a significant portion of revenues for some U.S. suppliers.

The extended limited reprieve applies to technology sales and transfers necessary for “the continued operations of existing networks and to support existing mobile services, including cybersecurity research,” Commerce said in an updated order Monday.

Shares of U.S. computer chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm and Micron — all of which sell to Huawei — rose after Monday’s announcement.

While U.S. companies are allowed to request approval to sell technology beyond what’s covered in the limited reprieve, Ross said the government has yet to grant any such licenses.

The Commerce Department is also adding 46 Huawei affiliates to the list of 69 already affected by sanctions. Huawei called that decision “politically motivated” and in violation of “basic principles of free market competition.” Half of the newly listed affiliates are based outside China.

Adam Segal, director of cyberspace policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that probably reflected additional research to identify the full scope of Huawei purchasing globally.

Triolo said the sanctions have had only limited effect mostly because there is no consensus in the Trump administration on Huawei policy.

Its China hawks want Huawei banned not just from U.S. government networks but from all U.S. telecommunications and have been trying to persuade U.S. allies to impose blanket bans. But others in the administration seem inclined to use Huawei sanctions as a lever in ongoing trade negotiations.

Trump himself has sent mixed signals. The extension was announced a day after he told reporters the U.S. shouldn’t be doing business with Huawei. In May, Trump issued an executive order in May under which the Federal Communications Commission is studying whether to institute a ban on Huawei equipment in U.S. telecom networks.

Segal said “mixed messaging and inconsistencies” on Huawei by Trump administration officials are apt to reinforce concerns in Beijing about the credibility of any trade deal that might be reached with Washington.

Triolo said the one thing is sure in all the confusion generated by the White House: “Huawei is doubling down on finding alternative suppliers, and U.S. companies going forward will be viewed as unreliable partners by greater numbers of Chinese firms.”

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