Micron's LPDDR4 RAM May Improve Battery Life in Apple's 2014 Products

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple's customers may receive a boost in performance and improved battery life from the company's 2014 products thanks to improvements in Micron's LPDDR4 DRAM technology, claims Matt Margolis (Via 9to5Mac).
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    According to Margolis, Micron is ramping up production of its LPDDR4 RAM and will supply Apple with memory chips for its 2014 iPad, iPhone and Mac models, which are expected to debut later this year. Margolis believes a "mystery" $250 million payment Micro received for "product to be supplied through September 2016" is from Apple as part of a multi-year deal.
    Though not confirmed, this transaction is plausible as Apple currently uses Micron's LPDDR3 DRAM in its 2013 models under the brand name of Elpida, a company that Micron acquired in July 2013. Even earlier, Apple reportedly inked a deal for DRAM chips with Elpida in 2012 that purchased half of the capacity at the firm's main manufacturing facility in Japan.

    This new LPDDR4 RAM technology offers two times the bandwidth performance of the previous generation LPDDR3, while keeping power consumption low, claims Reynette Au, Micron's Vice President of Wireless Solutions Marketing, in an article at Wirelessweek.

    These technological advancements in LPDDR4 RAM may complement Apple's 64-bit A-series processor, which powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini. Detailed analysis from Anandtech claims Apple's current A7 processor is so powerful that users are likely to encounter RAM bottlenecks and battery consumption limitations before overextending the CPU.

    Article Link: Micron's LPDDR4 RAM May Improve Battery Life in Apple's 2014 Products
     
  2. macrumors member

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    I hope so!

    I certainly hope so, the battery life would be most welcome by customers though.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Reason077

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    Anything that can improve battery life is a good thing. In my opinion the battery is one of the weakest aspects of the current iPhone lineup!
     
  4. macrumors regular

    FtrV8

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    For technology in general. Battery advancements have lagged big time compared to other components.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

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    #5
    Apple would probably rather use the power efficient chips to allow for a thinner battery and therefore a thinner design while maintaining the same battery life.

    I would rather they focus on performance instead of how thin it can be. The iPhone doesn't need to be thinner. I would rather have the iPhone 4/4s thickness in my iPhone 5s and get an improved battery.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    No one's complained about 1 GB of RAM in the current iDevices yet? I'm surprised.
     
  7. 3bs
    macrumors 603

    3bs

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    #7
    I agree that I wish they would focus on battery life more than thickness but I am quite happy with how thin the current iPhone is.
     
  8. chrmjenkins, Apr 3, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014

    macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #8
    Small note: shouldn't use DDR4 and LPDDR4 interchangeably. They are different standards.

    edit: I see it has been fixed. Carry on.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    garylapointe

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    #9
    Current battery is great, it's just too small!

    The current battery is pretty great from what they've talked about in terms of technologies (in the past, not this article).

    If you're got a flashlight and it runs on AAA batteries and you're always running out of power, what do you do? You get a flashlight that user bigger batteries (or you carry spares).

    If Apple was willing to put in larger batteries, the phone would last longer. THE END.

    Of course it would have to be thicker and heavier...

    Gary
     
  10. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #10
    iPhone battery size has increased with nearly every iteration of the phone. If they do indeed got a 4.7" or larger device, you can bet that the battery will see a significant jump.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #11
    This is great!! I hate when people complain that apple focuses more on looks than battery life, they've clearly demonstrated many times that battery life is a major concern for them.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

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    Does anyone really know how this will translate though? When I think of battery performance, RAM optimization really doesn't come into the equation.
     
  13. macrumors 604

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    #13
    Shame there's still only a gig of ram in the iDevices.

    Happy?
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    cmChimera

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    #14
    I see how this could end up in the iPhone, but isn't it unlikely to show up in notebooks until Intel supports it? Skylake right?
     
  15. macrumors regular

    mdridwan47

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  16. macrumors 68040

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    #16
    so a bigger iphone with ddr4 will have a nice battery
     
  17. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #17
    Yes, it's a small part of the equation. Using the equation P = fCV, say you run at 2 GHz, each cell is about 10 pF capacitance (times 64 for a 64 bit interface), at 1.1V, you're around 1.32 W (that's a toggle on every data bit every cycle). This doesn't take into account static RAM power dissipation, but it's also worst case since data bit toggle rates won't be at 1 (ratio cycles the data bit toggles to total clock periods).

    However, the key trade is faster RAM for a given power dissipation (or the same speed RAM for less power dissipation). Intense GPU demand also has intense RAM demands.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

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    This sounds intelligent and since I have absolutely no way of DISPROVING any of this with my current brain, I'll just have to nod with a blank stare and pretend I understood. :p
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    DTphonehome

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    #19
    Nice. Looking forward to upgrading my iPad 3 to a speedy iPad Air 2.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #20
    To put it simply, dynamic power consumption (power you use by operating as opposed to just sitting idle) is a function of how often you transfer data, how hard it is to drive the cells needed for that transfer and how much potential you need to complete that operation in the given time. It's roughly analogous to a car by saying I want to drive this fast, my car has this much drag, and my engine is this big.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    garylapointe

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    #21
    They'll have more surface area to spread the battery over, so overall thickness might not have an issue. My fear: more efficient batteries and more efficient electronics with more surface area means they could make it thinner; I don't want thinner to effect the internet camera lens setup... (affect?)

    Gary
     
  22. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #22
    Purely guessing, I doubt they will make it much thinner. As you point out, they're going to start limiting things like the optics they can use for the camera.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    SPUY767

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    #23
    That's primarily because the limiting factor of battery is currently chemistry, where other parts are limited only by manufacturing processes, better tooling yields improvements in CPU, memory, GPU, even display, but batteries don't benefit from small er transistors.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #24
    Yeah, you can only have so much energy density before it becomes dangerous in today's batteries. It's better to make the energy transfer more efficient - one of the reasons a lot of smartphone batteries went through a chemistry change, which we saw in the 3.7V to 3.8V rating transition on the batteries.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    garylapointe

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    #25
    If the screen is bigger, I WILL use it more!

    I'd be happier with thicker and much longer battery life.

    If the screen gets bigger, I think I'll use it more and probably pull my iPad out a tiny bit less (not a lot, just a little bit).

    When I'm out and about reading mail on my phone is convenient, but not a preferred method, at home I reach for the iPad or sit a the computer. For eBooks, iPhone is my very last choice after iPad and Kindle (I have the book synced to the same page on all 3 devices); if the screen were a bit bigger I'd think less when I get out of the car "Will I want my Kindle for reading?"

    Gary
     

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