Samsung Electronics started mass-producing 256GB embedded Universal Flash Storage chips for contemporary vehicles, the company announced Thursday. The solution is described as the industry's first eUFS chip designed for automotive applications based on the latest UFS 3.0 standard completed in late January. The chips are already being shipped to automakers looking to implement Advanced Driver Assistance Systems in the near future, Samsung said, without naming any clients. The cutting-edge dashboards and infotainment solutions are predicted to soon be found in luxury vehicles and given Samsung's history in the automotive industry, the firm is expected to be supplying at least one major German vehicle manufacturer with its new chips, with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz being the most likely candidates.
In accordance with the UFS 3.0 specification, Samsung's latest chips have been designed to withstand a wide temperature range, from -40°C ( -40°F) to 105°C (221°F), both in power-saving and fully operational modes. While the older eMMC 5.1 standard already supported operations at such low temperatures in practice, its traditional implementations are limited to 85°C (185°F), whereas its warranties generally don't cover system damage sustained at temperatures below -25°C (-13°F). On the other hand, the UFS 3.0-based platform doesn't differentiate between its operational temperature range and that covered by its warranty, being designed to offer more flexibility and consistency across a wide variety of use cases, Samsung boasts. Compared to the previous UFS 2.1 standard, UFS 3.0 offers data speeds of up to 11.6Gbps per lane or 23.2Gbps in total, which amounts to a 100-percent performance increase.
The new eUFS chips with 256GB of storage are eventually meant to succeed Samsung's 128GB modules whose large-scale production started last September, though the South Korean original equipment manufacturer is expected to continue offering both for the foreseeable future. While the latest memory solutions will debut in high-end vehicles, Samsung believes they'll soon trickle down to other product categories, though the firm has yet to attach a specific timeframe to these predictions. The company's semiconductor division has been responsible for the majority of its massive growth recorded in recent years and while the global demand for memory chips is eventually expected to decline, the Seoul-based chaebol remains adamant to take advantage of the current state of the market before the competition catches up to it in terms of production capacity and customer interest transitions to another technology.