February 26, 2015
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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.

[press]

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.

[/press]

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