Recently Toshiba has announced its UFS 3.0 storage solution which is the first embedded flash chip in the industry. It is aimed at mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and promises to offer performance comparable to high-end SSDs for PCs. This post will show you some specifications of this flash memory.

With the development of technology, smartphones processors keep getting faster, the cameras keep becoming better, and the batteries are… still there. But there is another piece of hardware that is able to have an influence on the performance of smartphones and other mobile devices. And that is the storage technology.

For early phones, they shipped with eMMC flash storage (and some cheaper models now still do that). Recently, some phone manufacturers have started adopting UFS (Universal Flash Storage) storage. And we look forward to seeing the first mobile devices that use UFS 3.0 storage this year, which is expected to be twice as fast as UFS 2.1 storage.

According to a maker like Samsung, it is working on a UFS 3.0 solution and plans to have it ready to release sometime this year.

However, recently Toshiba Memory America, Inc. (TMA), the U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corporation, has announced that it is starting sampling the industry’s UFS Ver. 3.0 embedded flash memory device.

Toshiba's UFS 3.0 Embedded Flash Chip

According to Toshiba, the UFS embedded flash memory is ideal for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, this company also says the new storage solution could be used in augmented and virtual reality systems.

The new lineup of Toshiba UFS 3.0 storage utilizes the company’s cutting-edge 96-layer BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory technology, and an in-house developed UFS 3.0 controller in a JEDEC-standard 11.5 x 13mm package which can perform error correction, wear leveling, logical-to-physical address translation, and bad-block management so as to simplify system development.

Besides, the UFS 3.0 flash memory is available in three capacities including 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. All three devices can meet the JEDEC UFS 3.0 and HS-GEAR4 standard that has a theoretical interface speed of up to 11.6 Gigabits per second per lane.

With two full-duplex lanes, Toshiba UFS 3.0 flash memory can reach a peak interface bandwidth of 23.2Gbps (2.9GB/s). Meanwhile, it also supports QoS feature that can monitor and adjust the transmission to achieve the maximum performance and efficiency.

Currently, Toshiba hasn’t disclosed the read and write performance, but it has only described that the sequential read and write performance of the 512GB device are about 70 percent and 80 percent higher respectively when compared to the previous-generation UFS 2.1 products. As to voltages, they are typical for the UFS 3.0 standard: 1.2 V for VCCQ, 1.8 V for VCCQ2, and 2.5 V/3.3 V for VCC.

Sample Availability of Toshiba UFS 3.0 Storage

According to Scott Beekman, director of managed flash memory products for Toshiba, it is the first company to release UFS samples back in early 2013. Just as now, 6 years later, the introduction of UFS Ver.3.0 embedded flash memory devices is further proof that they continue to be at the forefront of storage for next-gen mobile devices.

So far the company is just sampling a 128GB device, whereas higher capacities including 256GB and 512GB versions should begin going out to partners in March 2019. And it is important to note that this company expects to use the chip first in commercial smartphones and hit the market later this year.

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