Samsung has an ultra high speed 128GB UFS 2.0 storage module ready for smartphones

by: Matthew BensonFebruary 26, 2015


Think about the last smartphone you purchased. Consider the cost. Surmise the storage. Chances are, the device was a pretty penny and yet contains only 16/32GB on-board disk space if it’s a flagship, or 8/16GB if it’s a lower-end model. While many smartphones now have expandable storage via microSD, wouldn’t it be nice to get a lot more for your dollar? Samsung might have just the ticket.

Korea’s largest OEM has just announced the world’s first 128GB smartphone storage module that makes use of Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0, a cutting-edge technology that allows for blazing fast data access speeds. It makes use of “Command Queue”, which involves accessing SSDs via a serial interface and has allowed Samsung to make 19,000 I/O operations per second in random reading. This is approximately 2.7 times faster than the standard 8-bit-parallel-interfaced eMMC (5.0) currently deployed for smartphones.

emmc ufs memory

In random write-to-storage tests, the UFS format had 14,000 I/O per second making it 28 times faster than a standard external memory card. This will greatly add to the list of achievements flagship smartphones can perform as it will allow things such as seamless Ultra HD video playback while simultaneously multitasking.

Rounding out the feature-fest, Samsung promises a 50% reduction in power consumption which would make these tiny storage modules a theoretical match made in heaven for the increasingly demanding app array and multitasking that power users throw at their phones.

samsung galaxy s6 at&t teaser

Could the upcoming Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S Edge be the first devices to make use of the amazing new storage chip?

While 128GB is the largest storage option, 64GB and 32GB variants will also be available. The goal is to see that all flagship smartphones begin to make use of the new UFS technology chips and relegate eMMC to standard-affair, budget and mid-range products.

While Samsung is now mass-producing these chips, it remains to be seen as to if next week’s Galaxy S6 will, in fact, use such technology. Due to supply constraints or timing issues, it’s possible we won’t see them until the Galaxy Note 5 later this year, or even the rumored Galaxy Tab S2 line. Given that Samsung is the world’s largest producer of SSD/NAND flash storage modules in the world, this latest development is just another milestone in the company’s pursuit of the future of technology.

The full press release follows.

Show Press Release

Samsung is now mass producing the industry’s first 128-gigabyte (GB) ultra-fast embedded memory based on the much-anticipated Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard for next-generation flagship smartphones. The new embedded memory’s UFS 2.0 interface is the most advanced JEDEC-compliant, next-generation flash memory storage specification in the world.

“With our mass production of ultra-fast UFS memory of the industry’s highest capacity, we are making a significant contribution to enable a more advanced mobile experience for consumers,” said Jee-ho Baek, Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing, Samsung Electronics. “In the future, we will increase the proportion of high-capacity memory solutions, in leading the continued growth of the premium memory market.”

UFS memory utilizes “Command Queue,” a technology that accelerates the speed of command execution in SSDs through a serial interface, significantly increasing data processing speeds compared to the 8-bit parallel-interface-based eMMC standard. As a result, Samsung UFS memory conducts 19,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) for random reading, which is 2.7 times faster than the most common embedded memory for high-end smartphones today, the eMMC 5.0. It also delivers a sequential read and write performance boost up to SSD levels, in addition to a 50 percent decrease in energy consumption. In addition, the random read speed is12 times faster than that of a typical high-speed memory card (which runs at 1,500 IOPS), and is expected to greatly improve system performance.

In the future, Samsung anticipates that UFS will support high-end mobile market needs, while eMMC solutions remain viable for the mid-market, value segments.

For random writing of data to storage, the blazingly fast UFS embedded memory operates at 14,000 IOPS and is 28 times as fast as a conventional external memory card, making it capable of supporting seamless Ultra HD video playback and smooth multitasking functions at the same time, enabling a much improved mobile experience. Samsung’s new UFS embedded memory comes in 128GB, 64GB and 32GB versions, which are twice the capacity of its eMMC line-up, making it today’s optimal memory storage solution for high-end mobile devices.

In an attempt to provide more design flexibility to global customers, Samsung’s UFS embedded memory package, a new ePoP (embedded package on package) solution, can be stacked directly on top of a logic chip, taking approximately 50 percent less space.

Over the next several years, Samsung will continue to set the pace for memory solutions that combine truly high-performance with high capacity.

  • Syukri Lajin

    sata for mobile storage?

  • Bull Winkle

    That’s great, but what on Earth do I need 128gb of memory for? I mean, once I watch a movie, why would I keep it on my phone? I have thousands of songs and quite a few videos and apps. Still using less that 32gbs. I guess it makes sense if someone is going to shoot a movie in 4k on a professional camera. …That said, I’m sure that in three years, I’ll be wanting one for some new technology I cannot yet fathom.

    • FlyingBrick

      As the other poster said, games and apps are getting larger, 4K video recording and bigger megapixels will fill up your storage quickly.

      A few years ago i thought 32GB would be more than enough and i was wrong, 128GB will be future proof, also power users will want bigger internal storage because it’s faster than external.

  • hhmmm, ok sammy you caught my attention, with mobile games and apps getting larger this would be good

  • Bad

    Yeah, and 16gb slow memories for its own phones that soon will cost 1000$

    • Kass

      If mediocre to above average phones is the price to pay for Samsung’s continued focus on pushing the latest memory, storage and even some processor technologies, not forgetting display tech, I’m all for it – there’s barely 1 or 2 competitors in each field who can match or surpass them at it.

      But, there are many more manufacturers who are equal or better at the phone thing – a lot of whom rely on Samsung for a large chunk of those class-leading phone innards.

  • Roby

    Couldn’t care less about 128GB phone storage. Still waiting for the day when 32GB will become the standard in phones that cost over, let’s say $300. Read and write speed bumps are always welcome though.

    • T4rd

      Seems to be getting there, at least with HTC and LG in the US. Samsung does 32GB minimum on the Notes as well, so it’s odd they didn’t for the GS5.

  • Милен Стефанов

    There is absolutely NO need of higher speeds when memory is used in phones. In reality 125MB/s write speed is more than enough to shoot 4K 120fps videos…

    • wat

      What about when people want to shoot 8k videos? Inb4 “that’s retarded”, as if 4K isn’t.

      • Милен Стефанов

        8K is nothing, I want 128K and 960fps slow motion video. In fact memory speed is last thing that needs an upgrade today, tomorrow, or even in next 3-4 years…

        • wat

          Your field of view is so narrow.

          • Милен Стефанов

            Maybe it’s narrow, maybe I missing something- no one is perfect… But definitely in near future (3-5 years) memory speed will not be a problem…

          • JJameson

            It already is a problem. EMMC is slow. A very large part of the hiccups, delays, and lag in our smartphones are a direct result of this slower performance in the storage. You may not attribute it accurately, but, yes, that is the issue. In fact, just like it was for computers about 7-8 years ago before SSDs came on to the consumer market, storage is now the main bottleneck to performance in phones.

          • greatestNothing

            People don’t realize how much this does effect our smart phones. Apple spent a couple hundred million buying an Israeli tech firm because they make some of the best I/O controllers on the market, now they use them exclusively. It’s one of the main reasons iPhones rarely have that little stutter that we see occasionally on Android devices. This technology will definitely clear this up and hopefully bring our reboot and boot times to something manageable. For people like myself that swap batteries instead of charging our phones it will be very welcome.

          • JJameson

            Exactly. Anobit’s storage controller’s are freaking great but they don’t produce very high quality NAND like Intel and Samsung. It’s only one piece of the puzzle. Apple still uses some pretty crappy flash in their iphones and ipads just like most manufacturers of android devices. I still very much see lag and microstutter on IOS devices, especially ipads due to resolution. If UFS 2.0 flash sees this performance in real world applications, it will really make our high res. devices buttery smooth.

      • neoand12

        Seeing how well 4K TVs sold this holiday season, I’m sure people will be asking for more storage for 4K.

        • wat

          Yes, that really is a perfectly logical conclusion you have drawn there. “People are buying 4K TVs so they will want to record more 4K to play on their TV, cus everyone really does that”.

          • neoand12

            Yes it is a perfectly logical conclusion. More storage to record their videos from their phone and display them on their TV. I didn’t say everyone does that I SAID that 4K TVs sold meaning more people are getting into 4K. So yes having more storage on a phone IS important going forward.

    • JJameson

      Everything needs to be upgraded, to be made better. Otherwise, we become stagnant. I don’t understand anyone who says improving a technology, especially one as important as this to overall function, is pointless. Technology exists as an attempt to improve our quality of life. If our lives can benefit from the upgrades, even if only marginally more than a previous technology, make those upgrades. Also, the benefit of UFS 2.0 over EMMC is the Random I/O reads and writes. Those affect overall responsiveness of the device in everyday use and are sorely lacking compared to traditional SSDs in computers. The faster the storage, the more we can do on our phones/tablets/chromebooks.

  • ginshaker22

    I dont care about the speed,all i care is a software update,come on sammy i still waiting for the OTA 5.0 update for the note n9005 lte version

  • Ez0rus

    I want it faster, bigger, smaller sized.
    I could fill 1TB on my phone with… *cough* apps

  • namesib

    *At a disproportionately expensive cost compared to lower capacity devices!

    It’s ridiculous that people want to do away with microSD support in favour of this.

    • T4rd

      How do you know how much it will cost?

      MicroSD cards are significantly slower and less reliable than these internal NAND chips. If I could get 64GB+ internal storage on my phones, then I would have absolutely no want or need for an SD card.

      • namesib

        Based on competing devices that have a tiered capacity system.

        Despite having an SSD as my primary storage device, I still make use of HDDs for additional storage. Phones are becoming increasingly powerful and multifunctional; fixed storage options are not desirable to me in the slightest. Apple-esque money grab. Why allow the end user to increase their storage or change their own batteries when they can be forced to spend more on a higher capacity device or buy a new phone when their battery degrades?

  • Captain Obvious

    This is great, and I am looking forward to the speed and extra storage….however it is not a replacement for the convenience of removable storage, and to me a “smart” phone is not a “smart” phone unless it has removable storage – I hope they don’t use this as justification for removing that much needed feature.

    • 이종우

      Wow! You’re a prophet! You guessed the future right!

  • Cleveland Stamps

    Very good. Will definitely pick one up when available.

  • Karly Johnston

    New flash generations are always nice, but it won’t make a large difference. It isn’t like ur booting Windows from a 2.0 stick drive.

  • Major Sceptic

    Anything that improves performance has to be a good thing.

  • Mark

    Not a trade worth making if it means the removal of micro SD, as it has with the S6. Removable storage has always been one of the biggest benefits of Android over iOS, ditching it is a huge mistake for Samsung.