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5G and Memory - from Connected Thinking to Connected Living

Author : Samsung semiconductor Published Time : 2019-11-22

A new era of global connectivity is arriving, and it’s called 5G. 

Like 4G technology, 5G is a set of wireless connectivity standards built specifically to support mobile and remote devices. However, 5G will offer much greater speed to move data, much lower latency for improved responsiveness, and the ability to connect more devices at once for sensors and smart devices. These devices include not just smartphones and computers but also home appliances, door locks, security cameras, cars, wearables, and many other items. 

5G speed, latency and connectivity are enabled by three technologies. Ultra-high speed is supported by enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), enabling users to download a 15GB full-length high-definition movie in 6 seconds instead of 4 minutes with a 4G connection. With eMBB, 5G networks can provide peak data transmission speeds of up to 20Gbps (2.5GB of data transmitted per second). 

Ultra Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) promises a more stable network and the lowest possible latency to initiate connectivity. URLC can be used with 5G for self-driving cars, thereby reducing reaction time to a potential collision to just one millisecond. This means that a car can stop within a few centimeters instead of a meter as with a 4G-based system. 

Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) can be used for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. IoT supports a network of physical items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators, enabling these items to connect, collect and exchange data much more effectively. In fact, 5G can support up to one million devices within one square kilometer, all of them communicating with one another with only minimal human involvement. 

Managing the mobile traffic explosion

5G will work with a number of new technologies to support the explosion in mobile traffic. For example, 5G makes use of the mmWAVE spectrum to build a densified network based on small cells that can handle a much greater volume of mobile traffic as compared to today’s frameworks. Samsung is exploring 5G applications that are compatible with the standard 5G spectrum broadened with mmWAVE and powered by efficient data transmission technologies such as beamforming, carrier aggregation and massive Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO). 

Massive MIMO will be especially critical. The technology enables a wireless network where more than one data signal can be transmitted and received simultaneously over the same radio channel, using a separate antenna for each signal. As a result, an MIMO network can increase the capacity of a wireless connection without requiring more spectrum. 

The tremendous increase in mobile data traffic will have a direct impact on memory demand. 5G networks require many more telco servers and base stations, supporting a surge in 5G baseband requirements for high-definition 4K smart phones, high-performance Virtual Reality (VR) devices, high-definition video, autonomous vehicles, tens of billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, remote healthcare, and other applications. 

In addition, 5G will have an indirect impact on memory products due to the increase in data center demand, wired network capacity, mobile storage, new terminal connections for IoT, and autonomous vehicles corresponding to the data traffic growth. 

Backed by new technologies and greater memory capabilities, the Mobile First trend ─ where product development for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices takes priority over desktops ─ will help manufacturers keep pace with the steady surge in mobile traffic.

From 4G to 5G networks

Greater memory will be a critical part of the design and implementation of 5G networks. Unlike 4G, 5G technologies are designed to take advantage of cloud-based or virtual Radio Access Networks (RANs). The RAN technologies will enable enterprises and service providers to set up their own centralized networks. At the network edge, next-generation networks will implement radio interfaces that take advantage of new radio frequencies. Meanwhile, the traditional base station with its functional split between the radio access unit and a central unit will largely disappear. 

These various network functions are undergoing a shift toward software virtualizations in the most advanced 4G networks, and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) will be a standard component of 5G networks. Most affected by this transition will be the Core Network, which will be able to scale various resources up and down to meet demand, while adjusting its own architecture to match real-time network usage, infrastructure outages and the deployment of new services. In fact, tomorrow’s 5G networks will be less defined by their ability to provide connectivity and more by the various services they will enable. All of these capabilities will require a significant increase in memory for components across the networks.

New advancements in 5G memory

To address the advanced memory needs of 5G networks, Samsung offers a growing array of products. Our HBM2 memory supports 1024 input/output (I/O) and system memory bandwidth of 1 terabytes per second (TB/s) at a speed of 256Gbps, helping to support growing market needs across a wide range of data-intensive, high-end computing applications. These include artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing (HPC), advanced graphics, network systems and enterprise servers. 

In addition, Samsung’s high-density LPDDR5 and LPDDR4x in micro packaging products are available along with the world’s first 512 gigabytes (GB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) flash memory. These innovative offerings are equipped with V-NAND layer stacking technology, power-efficient Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS), and sequential read speed of 880MB/s, setting the stage for a new standard in smartphones, automotive components, cameras, games, and a host of other AI-powered mobile applications. 

Faster network speed naturally translates into bigger data, meaning a higher demand for more storage, and Samsung offers powerful SSDs for next-generation data centers and enterprise server systems. The new 8TB NVMe NF1 SSD has been optimized for data-intensive analytics and virtualization applications. The SSD is built with 16 of Samsung’s 512GB NAND packages, each stacked in 16 layers of 256Gb, 3-bit V-NAND chips, achieving an 8TB density in an ultra-small footprint of 11 centimeters (cm) x 3.05cm.

Helping to make 5G a reality

At Samsung, we believe that 5G will provide historic improvements in cell capacity and boost user data rate to accommodate the increased traffic demands of the future. Samsung is already a leader in holding key patents related to 5G memory products. Working with a growing number of global manufacturers and service providers, Samsung will continue to expand the boundaries of memory technology, helping to ensure that the world enjoys the full potential of 5G, both now and in the years ahead.