Storage in mobile devices has always come at a premium. But that could change, at least in high-end devices, courtesy of Samsung’s new eUFS 2.1-compatible 1TB storage IC. As Samsung notes, this advance comes just four years after it broke records by introducing an industry-leading 128GB chip. The 1TB eUFS is “expected to play a critical role” in bringing a more laptop-like user experience to the next generation of phones and tablets, said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of memory sales at Samsung.
The new chip combines 16 layers of 512Gb NAND with a newly developed proprietary controller. Samsung claims that the new chip will store 260 10-minute 4K videos, where a standard 64GB eUFS storage device would only be capable of holding 13. Reads are as fast as 1000MB/s, and while that doesn’t compare particularly well to the latest PCIe NVMe SSDs, it’s more than twice the speed of SATA devices. Write performance has only increased very slightly from the company’s 512GB device, with 260MB/s of sequential write performance compared with 255MB/s in the 512GB product. A table of device performance is below:
Samsung expects its 1TB devices to offer 58,000 IOPs in random read (up 38 percent from its 512Gb offering) and 50,000 random write IOPs. The company claims that the random write speeds allow for high-speed continuous shooting at up to 960fps.
With all of that said, it’d be nice to see Samsung use these capabilities to boost the storage on their base devices, rather than offering capacity only as an upgrade. Samsung only offered its Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in capacities of up to 256GB, despite manufacturing its own larger standards. While I’m aware that as soon as I write this, someone will bounce in and claim that 1TB of internal capacity isn’t enough, bumping internal capacity up to 1TB probably would be enough for all but the heaviest users. 1TB of capacity is “enough” in the sense that 2,600 minutes of 4K video (which is what the phone supposedly supports) is roughly 43 hours of time — more than enough to support most photography or video efforts with time enough to get back and dump the data to drive.
Then again, with smartphone sales slipping, it’s possible Samsung will take a chance and attempt to goose sales with a larger capacity offering. It might not sell quite as well as a major performance boost, but the market is looking for ways to entice customers into buying new devices. A hefty capacity jump would be one way to do it.