Smartphone storage sure isn’t growing too fast, and it feels like we’ve had the same 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB options for years. Sure, there’s the odd 128GB model, and even the rare higher-capacity handset, but there’s not a lot of momentum to this push for more storage. And while that was long the case for RAM, as well, recent years have finally started seeing a real move towards higher and higher capacities, as phones grew from 2GB to 3GB, and now even 4GB model aren’t too difficult to come by. The future promises even more memory yet, like we saw with Samsung’s recent work towards 6GB components for upcoming smartphones. Now a new rumor is already looking past 6GB, as we get word that one of the next Qualcomm SoCs could be ready to handle phones armed with a solid 8GB of RAM.
We’re still waiting on the first models powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820, but before you know it the 820 will be everywhere and we’ll already be turning our attention to the presumptive Snapdragon 830. We’ve heard a little early talk about the fabrication techniques Qualcomm may be considering for the chip, and now a new source claims that the 830 will be ready to support 8GB RAM devices.
What kind of timeline are we looking at for phones with that massive amount of memory at their disposal? The source doesn’t say, but we wouldn’t count on seeing them land anytime soon, and this sounds like more the sort of thing that might be part of the 2017 smartphone season – if not further out.
In theory, that sounds pretty good (power consumption concerns aside), but it leaves us wondering a bit about chips like the 810 and 820: are there really hard ceilings on RAM capacity for these existing (or soon to be) models? We’ve reached out to Qualcomm in the hopes of getting some confirmation.
Update: Well, we didn’t get a firm from answer from Qualcomm regarding our questions about RAM capacity for current-gen SoCs, but it did offer this tidbit:
RAM is not just limited to Snapdragon design, but also to memory technology (e.g. PoP), OS, ISA (Instruction Set Architecture), and OEM decisions.