The smartphone resembles the human body in many ways. It’s a complex collection of parts working together towards a goal. In both cases, the brain and the processor remain the most important part of the whole system.
We recognize that the brain is important in biology, but we are also acutely aware that the heart is equally important while the appendix is a wellness.
In smartphones and other computing devices, we rightly love news about improvements to the brain of the device – the processor – but sometimes we fail to recognize the other parts that can impact the performance of the device. ‘device.
When it comes to storage, most people only care about one metric: size/capacity. I think we can agree that even if you only ever install one app, WhatsApp, like many Zimbabweans, 16GB is still too little for you.
Indeed, it’s been years since we’ve seen a flagship launch with 16 or even 32 GB of storage. The industry seems to have settled on 128GB as the minimum and with most of our media consumption coming from streaming services, I think that’s fine.
So this is size sorted. What should excite us now is speed.
No matter how fast your processor is, it will be limited by how fast it can read and write from storage.
A while ago we covered how you might not need to buy a new laptop. Simply replace your hard drive with an SSD and you’ll see dramatic improvements.
My colleague’s 10 year old laptop boots 10 times faster with an SSD installed. He did not change the CPU, only the hard drive for a faster storage solution. This shows that the CPU was severely limited by the old hard drive.
The SSD he installed in his laptop uses flash memory. Flash memory is also used in our phones, USB sticks and memory cards.
There are different types of flash memory and it turns out that Android phones use a different type than iPhones. Most Android phones use what’s called Universal Flash Memory (UFS) and iPhones use NVMe. Note that budget Android phones may still use an older type called eMMC.
Today we are concerned about UFS.
Samsung improves UFS
Samsung recently announced UFS 4.0 which offers double the speed of the previous generation and 45% higher efficiency.
If smartphones were as modular and upgradable as laptops, we could have taken the new UFS 4.0 drives and stuck them in our old phones and given them a few more years.
This new UFS 4.0 standard offers improved transfer speeds, power efficiency and space savings. As I mentioned, UFS 4.0 is twice as fast as the UFS 3.1 it improves on, while it’s four times faster than an older 2.1 standard.
Note that UFS 2.1 is not as old as one might think. The Samsung Galaxy S10 released in 2019 used this standard. Three years later, there is talk of a standard four times faster. When we pair that with faster processors, these new smartphones will leave the S10 in the dust.
Where do we hope to see real-life speed improvements? Load times for apps and games should be significantly reduced, as should high-resolution video recording.
I have a Galaxy Note 3 running a custom ROM that lets it record 4K video, but it’s not usable due to the write speed bottleneck, so I know firsthand how the Storage speeds can affect video recording quality.
Not only does UFS 4.0 promise faster speeds, it also uses less power – 45% less than UFS 3.1 to be exact. This should lead to significantly better battery life.
Capacity has not been forgotten, these UFS 4.0 chips can have 1TB if desired.
The S23 will turn on
Samsung plans to start mass production of UFS 4.0 storage chips in Q3 2021, so expect the first phones to have this faster storage in 2023 and I think the Galaxy S23 will be the first phone to do so. rock this technology.
This means that if you need to upgrade your phone next year, you can also make sure it has a UFS 4.0 chip for future verification. Why would you give up faster speeds and better battery life?
It won’t be a Galaxy exclusive, other brands will be able to take advantage of these faster speeds. Samsung Semiconductor sells its chips to anyone who has them.
I don’t think Apple will be one of the brands knocking on Samsung’s doors, they seem committed to their NVMe solution. They might however, stranger things have happened.