Tech Trends

Samsung’s UFS 3.1: Flash Storage for the 5G Future

on Apr 08, 2020

This is a light stream that emphasizes speed in a smartphone. The chip image of Samsung UFS 512GB UFS 3.1 Chip is also shown in front of it.

With the arrival of 5G, and with devices like the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip changing the shape of the smartphone as we know it, the future of mobile technology has never looked brighter.

To help usher in the next wave of seamless and immersive mobile experiences, Samsung Electronics recently began mass production of a truly next-generation flash storage solution: its 512-gigabyte (GB) UFS 3.1. What are some of the incredible experiences that consumers can look forward to, and how will the solution’s groundbreaking speeds take those experiences to the next level? To answer those questions and more, let’s take a closer look at how Samsung optimized this technology for the 5G era.

First, What Is UFS?

UFS stands for ‘embedded Universal Flash Storage.’ In a nutshell, Samsung’s high-speed UFS offers much faster data processing and greater energy efficiency than the smartphone storage technology that preceded it, eMMC (embedded Multimedia Card). These upgrades are important because they pave the way for our smartphones to reach entirely new levels of performance – enhancing our enjoyment of everything from 4K and 8K multimedia content, to AR/VR and more.

Recently, the organization tasked with establishing global standards for the microelectronics industry, the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, announced the official publication of UFS version 3.1. With a history of spearheading innovation not just in mobile memory solutions but in 5G as well, Samsung is uniquely positioned to maximize UFS 3.1’s tremendous potential, and usher in a new generation of high-performance smartphones.

What UFS 3.1 Means for Mobile

The launch of Samsung’s UFS 3.1 lineup represents a true breakthrough for mobile memory technologies. As the first UFS 3.1 products to see mass production, Samsung’s solutions are poised to make smartphone storage not just faster and more efficient, but more stable as well.

Samsung’s lineup is comprised of three storage capacities: 128, 256 and 512GB. What makes the lineup’s release not just monumental for Samsung but a great leap forward for mobile memory as a whole is the fact that it raises the bar considerably for smartphone storage speeds. With support for data downloads of up to 1,200 megabytes per second (MB/s), the UFS 3.1’s 256GB and 512GB variants will help make gigabyte sequential write speeds the new normal.

Such blazing fast performance makes the 512GB UFS 3.1 roughly three times faster than its predecessor, last year’s 512GB UFS 3.0, which supported transfers of up to 410MB/s. It also makes the solution roughly 10 times faster than a microSD card, and more than twice as fast as some PCs. Indeed, a PC equipped with a SATA SSD supporting transfers of up to 540Mb/s would simply be incapable of keeping up with Samsung’s speediest mobile flash storage solution yet.

The 512GB UFS 3.1 also supports sequential read speeds of up to 2,100MB/s, as well as random read and write speeds of up to 100,000 and 70,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second). Both of the latter two figures are marked improvements over UFS 3.0, which supported random read and write speeds of up to 63,000 and 68,000 IOPS, respectively.

UFS 3.1 in Everyday Life

You don’t need to be an industry expert to know that the two keywords guiding mobile innovation in the 5G era are ‘bigger’ and ‘faster.’ This not only applies to the next-generation networks themselves, but to our devices as well. Today’s smartphone users require bigger screens and batteries and lightning-quick performance, and faster, more reliable flash storage can dramatically enhance our enjoyment of each of these important aspects of the mobile experience.

Samsung’s UFS 3.1 solutions enable smartphone users to take full advantage of 5G’s unprecedented speeds. This makes multitasking seamless, allowing you to watch high-quality videos, play high-bandwidth games and run multiple background processes all at the same time. Games and apps load in a flash, and a 4GB movie file can be saved to your phone in seconds.

With 4K and 8K video recording growing increasingly popular, UFS 3.1 will allow smartphone users to capture dynamic, high-quality content at higher frame rates – without draining their device’s battery. Playback of those videos will be both seamless and power-efficient, even on devices with big, ultra-high-resolution screens. These and other power-saving properties make UFS 3.1 a landmark advancement in smartphone technologies, as battery life has and will continue to be a chief priority when selecting a device.

A New Chapter for Flash Storage Technology

Samsung’s introduction of UFS 3.1 flash storage adds an exciting new chapter to a history of memory innovation that already includes a laundry list of impressive technologies, including 16GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM.

In the 5G era, as our smartphones become more powerful, versatile and central to our digital lives, innovations like these will empower manufacturers like Samsung to find entirely new ways to leverage connectivity to simplify our day. With full-scale mass production of UFS 3.1 already underway, it won’t be long before Samsung’s latest memory technology is streamlining storage on the smartphones of tomorrow.

For more information on Samsung’s memory innovations, including the latest news and updates, please click here.

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