How does the Extendable RAM feature works in smartphones?

Vivo has launched a couple of smartphones with Mediatek 5G chipset and the special feature is the extendable RAM feature where you can extend the original 8GB RAM to 11GB. How does this work and how effective is it?

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Simply they will allow some of the flash storage to act like RAM … From android authority’s I have seen something like +7GB of a device’s storage will be accessible for this …

The key lesson here is “acting” …The “extended RAM” WILL NOT be as performant as actual RAM …

A longer, more comprehensive look goes into Computer Systems/Architecture on the topic of Virtual Memory …

http://csapp.cs.cmu.edu/2e/ch9-preview.pdf

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Not just in 5G smartphones, but this works in Vivo Y73 as well that has Helio G95 4G chipset. Actually, some of the internal storage acts as RAM when you need extra RAM for some work.

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Well, if you know installation of a Linux OS, then that should not be hard to understand. Unlike windows, Linux based OSes allows one to choose independent disk or partition for practically every system aspect. One of them is a SWAP partition which is a part of the harddisk that works like RAM. I believe that’s the case since android is a Linux based system.

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That’s how the M1 macbook with limited ram(8gb) works. Part of the nvme ssd is used as additional ram when ram is used up. Of course the ssd is not as fast as actual ram, and also not as durable. Continuous writing and deletion on the ssd may reduce its life span. That’s why there are some concerns about the longevity of the m1 macbook’s ssd

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Right. I think even Oppo is bringing these features in some of its powerful Mediatek-powered smartphones. Would be interesting if people buy these.

It is very similar to the functioning of virtual memory in PC/Computer. This technique uses the device’s internal memory to increase the storage capacity of RAM. Your smartphone will store some amount of storage into RAM and treat it as actual RAM to make the functions more efficient. But this is not going to convert your smartphone RAM from 8GB into 11GB, as Vivo claims. Instead, the additional 3GB will only aid the 8GB RAM module in keeping this flowing smoothly.

During a product briefing round, Vivo explained in detail to Mysmartprice how the technology works. According to Vivo, virtual RAM on the X60 Series relies on algorithms to make part of the storage space to assume the function of RAM operations in order get the “+3GB” RAM effect on the new offerings. Doing so, the number of app caches on a phone with say, 8GB of RAM can be increased up to 20.

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Agree to that. More and more brands are doing this as of now and I heard reports of even Tecno bringing extendable RAM feature in their Mediatek-powered smartphones.

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