30 Jan 2019

Incredible 1TB storage coming to smartphones from Samsung

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The latest Samsung 1TB eUFS chip is cabal of storing over 43 hours of 4K UHD The latest Samsung 1TB eUFS chip is cabal of storing over 43 hours of 4K UHD Samsung

For those who want to shoot or store a lot of video on their smartphones, Samsung has just announced an enormous 1TB flash chip for next gen devices.

Actually, you can hold the next gen part of that introduction. And the bit about being enormous only applies to the amount of memory we’re talking about, of course. Samsung has just broken through the 1TB threshold for on-device memory with the announcement of the industry’s first 1TB Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) chip. What’s more, it’s already in mass production.

Exactly what device it will first appear on is, as yet unknown, though the mobiles rumour mill is kicking into high gear already ahead of late February’s MWC (the tradeshow formally known as Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona and confidently assigning it to the forthcoming Galaxy Note 10.

The performance levels are quite astonishing, especially when you consider it comes only four years after the first 128GB eUFS chip was developed, and has the same 11.5 x 13mm form factor as the previous 512GB version.

When that was released in November 2017, Samsung happily started marketing phones as ‘1TB ready’, the catch being that you had to insert a 512GB microSD card into the device as well to get it up to that level. No such doublethink with the new unit, though, which is not only 1TB from the get go but also boasts some pretty impressive performance stats.

The chip combines 16 stacked layers of Samsung’s fifth generation 512GB V-NAND flash memory with a new proprietary controller that sees it reach claimed transfer speeds of 1000MBps. This, Samsung points out, is twice the sequential read speed of a typical 2.5in SATA SSD and approaching 10x the speed of a typical microSD card. Random read speed is up to 58,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second), with random writes logging in at 50,000 IOPS. Sequential write speed is 260MBps

This makes it very, very fast as well as being very, very large. Samsung has fun with figures in its release announcing the chip, stating that it is capable of supporting both 960fps shooting and storing 260 10-minute 4K UHD videos.

43 hours of UHD content. On your phone. We’ll just let that sink in for a while. It really won’t be long before the devices we carry round in our bags and pockets comfortably outstrip the performance of most average desktops.

Samsung is expecting strong demand for the new memory, despite ongoing weaknesses in the smartphone market, and is tooling up its Pyeongtaek plant in Korea to expand 512Gb V-NAND production. And don’t forget, Samsung’s standalone memory business supplies a lot of the smartphone market with chips, including, historically, Apple. 1TB could soon become the new high-end normal across Android and iOS, though we imagine it will be at something of a price.


Andy Stout

Andy has spent over two decades writing about all aspects of the broadcast and film industries for a variety of high-profile industry publications on both sides of the Atlantic. During that time the industry has moved from 4:3 SD to 16:9 SD to HD and now on to 4K HDR. He's getting kind of curious to see where it goes next.

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