SAMSUNG HAS won the race to release the first Universal Flash Storage (UFS) cards, the format that is set to overtake microUSB.
Samsung's UFS cards come in sizes from 32GB to 256GB, and offer performance hitherto unseen in this sort of form factor.
UFS standards were finally settled in 2013, but the technology has thus far remained mostly for internal use.
The JEDEC consortium manages the standard on behalf of all the people you'd expect to manage a new breed of flash device, i.e. basically all the flash vendors and a lot of the users.
Samsung claimed that its top-of-the-shop 256GB UFS card is five times as fast as a MicroSD card at 530MBps. Average IOPS stand at 40,000 and write speeds at a slightly more meh 170MBps, but it's bound to get faster.
Compare that with the recently announced Samsung 256GB microSD card that can splutter up to 95MBps, and we're talking about a whole new ball game here comparable with SATA speeds.
So there they are, all resplendent and that. One problem. There isn't a gizmo on the planet at the moment that accepts them.
But that's not a problem as there's no price and no release date either. But they exist. And that's a good start. Well done Samsung. You were first. Have a Jelly Baby.
What UFS does mean already is that we'll start to see a bottleneck lifted in storage speeds in phones and tablets. As we've already seen, MicroSD doesn't cut it in the speed stakes, and it doesn't seem so long ago that we reported on torn down phones with 'internal' memory that was really just an SD card hidden away.
Toshiba has sampled smaller internal UFS chips since early 2013, but the second generation that is likely to come to light with the Samsung Galaxy 7, whenever that may be, is likely to bring a phone that zips along like a desktop. Bet there'll be no SD card slot. µ
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