Samsung introduced UFS 4.0 today, which is a new version of mobile flash storage that promises to significantly improve the performance and endurance of your next smartphone.
First, some context. We often discuss smartphone storage capacity but rarely does anyone talk about storage type. In the past, most smartphones used sluggish eMMC storage, a NAND solution similar to having an embedded SD card. In 2016, the Samsung Galaxy S6 became the first device to use Universal Flash Storage (UFS), raising read and write speeds from 250MB/s and 125MB/s to 350MB/s and 150MB/s, respectively. Since then, storage has become exponentially faster.
Arriving two years after UFS 3.1's release, UFS 4.0 will enable smartphones to reach speeds of up to 23.2Gbps per lane, double that of the previous standard. Samsung, in a Twitter thread, claims the amount of bandwidth is ideal for 5G smartphones that need to process huge amounts of data. Using 7th Gen V-NAND (3D NAND) and a proprietary controller, UFS 4.0 storage can hit read speeds of up to 4,200MB/s and write speeds of up to 2,800MB/s.
Not only should we expect substantially faster performance from the next generation of smartphones, but UFS 4.0 should also extend runtimes. Samsung says the new storage version will deliver a sequential read speed of 6.0MB/s per mA, or a 46% improvement over the previous-gen, a jump that should give your phone some extra battery life at the end of the day.
Samsung says UFS 4.0 will come in a compact, 11 x 13 x 1-millimeter package and will support up to 1TB of storage. Let’s hope this means Android phones will match the iPhone 13 Pro and start shipping with up to 512GB and 1TB of integrated storage—especially now that the microSD expansion slot is all but extinct.
Mass production for UFS 4.0 will start in the third quarter of this year, so we could see it in flagship phones launching toward the end of the year, though it could very well debut in the Galaxy S23, which will likely arrive in late February 2023. Samsung says it’s currently “collaborating with smartphone and consumer device manufacturers globally” and “working vigorously to foster an ecosystem for UFS 4.0 to drive the market for high-performance mobile storage solutions.”