New UFS mobile storage standard could be as fast as solid state drives for PCs


The new generation of smartphones will boot up faster and will take lesser time to copy files and open apps. JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), the global body responsible for the development and adoption of standards for the micro-electronics industry, has released version 3.0 of Universal Flash Storage (UFS), which is two times faster than existing UFS 2.1 standard. At present, UFS 2.1 is used in a number of premium smartphones such as OnePlus 5T, Galaxy S8 and HTC U11.

What makes UFS 3.0 better than its predecessor is the faster read and write speeds. It is the first standard to offer data transfer speeds of up to 11.6 Gbps simultaneously, which means an overall transfer speed of 23.2Gbps. This puts it at par with SATA based SSD standard, used in PCs and notebooks, and which offers data speeds of up to 25Gbps. The other advantage of UFS 3.0 over its predecessor is that it will use lower power of as low as 2.5V. Its predecessor requires between 2.7V and 3.6V of power. This will help in keeping the device cool.

The difference between UFS 3.0 and UFS 2.1 will show while copying files and with heavy tasks such as capturing high-resolution photos or recording 4K videos using the smartphone camera. It will also reduce the time taken by heavy apps and games to open and will eventually improve the overall user experience.

UFS is an advanced interface designed for mobile devices, and was released in 2014). It is faster than eMMC (embedded multimedia card) standard. What makes UFS better than eMMC is the faster speed and the ability to carry out read and writes at the same time. While, eMMC (supported can send data in one direction which means it can either read or write at a time. UFS 2.1 can muster peak speed of 5.9Gbps in one lane, while eMMC can manage speeds of up to 2Gbps only.

UFS can also process multiple tasks simultaneously while on eMMC user has to wait for one process to complete before they could start another. This makes devices with eMMC slower than UFS based devices when it comes to copying files and booting speed.

With the release of the new standard, eMMC looks more and more outdated. But it is not going to get replaced by newer standards anytime soon. Most phonemakers still prefer eMMC due its lower cost. Even the UFS2.1, which was released three years ago, has been adopted by a few flagship smartphones only.livemint