Toshiba and Qualcomm Partner Up for UFS2, A New Blazing Fast Memory Standard

Over the years smartphones have become increasingly faster, and that's not just talking about CPU power either. While many people are concerned with how many cores their CPU has or what frequency it runs at, they forget that the internal memory storage speed plays just as big of a role in device performance as a faster CPU does. For instance we've seen devices like the Transformer Infinity pack a quad-core processor, but since it has cheap internal storage that's much slower than it needs to be the device often feels laggy or sluggish. This has improved over time with devices and now even with cheaper tablets, a la the latest Nexus 7, we are seeing much faster overall memory speeds that keep the device moving even when installing applications or multi-tasking. Still modern devices have memory based on the eMMC standard, which being only 8-bits wide is about to reach its limit. Thankfully Toshiba and Qualcomm have partnered up to bring us a new standard called Universal Flash Storage 2.0, or UFS2 for short.

The new memory standard will come in "low-speed" and "high-speed" options that help match up better cost ratios for manufacturers willing to switch to the new standard. The "low-speed" variety has a theoretical throughput rate of 725MB/s, and the "high-speed" pushes a whopping 1.45GB/s through its new serial connection-type bus. Running speed test on my Galaxy Note 3 gives me about 150MB/s write speed, which is quite respectable, but those new UFS2 speeds are more than quadruple my speed at the low-end, and nearly 10 times the speed for the high-end. That's some pretty incredible throughput, and will definitely feel like a generational leap when they make it to market in the second quarter of this year. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 805 chipset will be the first chipset compatible with UFS2, meaning if manufacturers are willing to shell out the extra dough it costs to put a UFS2 memory chip inside of their new device over an older-style eMMC chip, we could see these in the late summer/fall 2014 flagship devices. 4K video is one of the driving factors behind the push for faster memory, and while we have 4K recording on devices like the Galaxy Note 3, none of them have the screen to playback that video in all its 4K glory.

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Nick Sutrich

Event / Reviews Editor
Nick has written for Androidheadlines since 2013, is Review Editor for the site, and has traveled to many tech events across the world. His background is as Systems Administrator and overall technology enthusiast. Nick loves to review all kind of different devices but specializes in Android smartphones, smartphone camera reviews, and all things VR, both here on the site and on our YouTube channel. He is very passionate about smartphones and the continued improvement they can bring into people’s lives and is an expert on many different types of technologies, including mobile devices, VR, and cameras. Contact him at [email protected]