- Samsung announced the launch of LPDDR5-PIM RAM.
- This is essentially “smart” RAM with AI capabilities.
- Samsung said that this technology can improve performance while reducing power consumption.
Machine learning is used in a large number of smart phones today, from system performance and translation to voice commands and camera quality. Now, Samsung has announced that it will bring similar intelligence to its smartphone RAM modules.
The company revealed that its memory processing (PIM) technology will be used in the RAM of smartphones. In addition, there are also the implementation of DRAM modules and high-bandwidth memory technologies.
“Samsung’s LPDDR5-PIM mobile memory technology can provide independent AI capabilities without data center connectivity,” the company pointed out in a report. Press release“Simulation tests show that when LPDDR5-PIM is used in applications such as speech recognition, translation, and chat robots (sic), it can more than double the performance while reducing energy consumption by more than 60%.”
Why use smart RAM?
At first glance, this sounds like a fairly convenient feature that may bring faster and more efficient machine learning performance, but we have a lot of questions about this technology.
First of all, it is not clear whether PIM takes the form of an actual processor connected to the RAM module itself, or just a set of optimizations and algorithms. If it is indeed a real chip, then we want to know whether third-party developers can access it according to their needs.
It is unclear how powerful this technology is and whether it can handle more advanced tasks such as image processing and computer vision. After all, many smartphone chipsets can run advanced machine learning tasks, and almost all flagship devices also have dedicated AI chips. However, PIM-enabled RAM with a fair amount of grunts may theoretically be ideal for cheap phones, allowing OEMs to use cheaper chips and let “smart” RAM do the heavy lifting.
Finally, Samsung has not revealed when we will actually see this kind of RAM in smartphones, although its goal is to complete the standardization of PIM technology in the first half of 2022.
In any case, we have asked Samsung for more detailed information about the LPDDR5-PIM technology, and we will update this article if/when it returns to us.