Samsung Senior research fellow, Cho Hee-chang, today compared Samsung’s new generation Universal Flash Storage technology with King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur. This mighty weapon was what the mythical king used to rule England in relative peace. To Samsung, they consider their Universal Flash Storage (UFS) technology to provide a solid foundation for many of today’s emerging technologies. UFS provides a blend of high data performance speeds with low power consumption: UFS memory storage chips can be written to much quicker than current, conventional memory cards and use less power when doing so.
High performance memory cards have many applications for future technology and Samsung’s engineers discussed a number of these at the Mobile & IoT 2016 Forum held in the L Tower at Yangjae-dong, Seoul. One of these applications is for high quality 4K or 8K camera mounted on drones and requiring a capacious, high performance memory storage chip. This is the technology that could be used to provide virtual reality content, but as the amount of information that must be stored (and of course, retrieved when viewing the material) grows, performance becomes more important to avoid the system being unable to save the data as quickly as it is captured. Another use could be the automobile sector, where cameras sensors are becoming more and more prevalent. Cho believes that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and many of these will have a requirement for a high capacity, high performance and low power memory, which is exactly where UFS comes into play.
Samsung’s external UFS card is currently a first generation, or v1.0, technology and is capable of transferring data at 600 MB a second. Samsung are expecting to be releasing second generation v2.0 UFS cards in the first half of 2018, which will have double this performance. Internal UFS technologies may be faster still: UFS 2.0 and 2.1 are already capable of transferring data at 1.2 GB per second and this is expected to double to 2.4 GB a second in the same time frame. Samsung’s memory solutions are already proving to be successful in the market. It has developed a cutting-edge 3D NAND flash memory and high performance controllers: the business (and much of the industry) expects Samsung to lead the UFS market for the next few years. And as for Samsung’s reference to King Arthur, it’s an interesting double take that Samsung are supplying Apple with NAND memory chips.