First of all, it must be borne in mind that despite the fact that the acronym LPDDR stands for low consumption DDR, the communication protocols with this memory are actually different from those of DDR5. Therefore they require totally different interfaces and memory controllers.
And when we say different, we refer to characteristics such as the size of the bus, the voltage, the communication timings, absolutely everything that surrounds a memory. In addition, LPDDR memories are not intended to be used in DIMM or SO-DIMM modules, but to be soldered directly to the motherboard, so they are not usually used in gaming or high-end PCs. Not for this reason, they are worse memories, since they can reach the same bandwidths as a conventional DDR, but making use of lower energy consumption.
What’s new in LPDDR5X memory?
Just as the LPDDR4X memory was an improvement over the LPDDR4, the same can be said for the LPDDR5X over the LPDDR5. And although we have known the development of this type of memory for a long time. The JEDEC, the organization or committee in charge of publishing the industry standards in terms of reports, has just published the final draft of the LPDDR5X, actually as an extension of the LPDDR5 and under the document Jesd209-5b.
The improvements of the LPDDR5X over its predecessor? First of all, we have that the transfer speed limit has passed from 6400 Mbps to 8533 Mbps, limit that by the way also reaches LPDDR5 in its latest revision. No details have been made public about the voltage at which the new LPDDR5X works, but we assume that it reaches that bandwidth using less power than the LPDDR5. Although the details in this case are scarce.
Another improvement is the improvement in the equalization in signal integrity between Transmitters and Receivers in communication interfaces and reliability improvements through a new feature called Adaptive Refresh Management, a feature that it shares with DDR5 memory.
When can we expect this kind of memory?
In the Intel and AMD road maps we already have mentions of CPUs with an interface to communicate with the LPDDR5X memory, as is the case of the future Intel Raptor Lake CPUs, an update of the not yet released Alder Lake CPUs, which are dated to 2022, so it will be in that year where the LPDDR5X will begin to be used in a large number of products that go on the market.
As for AMD, we do not have references in their roadmap of the use of LPDDR5 at the moment, but with months remaining for the launch and taking into account that many designs have not yet reached the “Tape-Out” we can hope that this will be added. memory type. Which will compete against DDR5, especially when it comes to ultra-light and low-power laptops if we talk about the PC world. Regarding the market for smartphones and derived hardware, we assume that this memory will be used in the most advanced SoCs for this type of device.