What is UFS 3.0? How does it affect your phone’s performance?

Lately surfaced in the news, UFS 3.0 will be soon redefining the smartphone experience for masses. That said, What is UFS 3.0? What are its advantages and how will it affect your phone’s performance? Let’s discuss everything here while keeping the language simple for starters.

What is UFS 3.0?

What is UFS 3.0?

  1. Introduction to UFS
  2. What is UFS? UFS vs. eMMC
  3. How fast is UFS 3.0? UFS 3.0 vs. UFS 2.1
  4. How does it affect your phone’s performance?
  5. Which phones will come with UFS 3.0 storage?

Introduction to UFS

Over time, we’ve seen subsequent incremental upgrades in terms of storage options available for smartphones. The same lead to a gradual improvement in the device’s speed and performance. Previously, smartphones were traditionally equipped with eMMC storage standards to store information. However, in the past few years, manufacturers have started using UFS standards in flagship as well as upper mid-range smartphones for better performance.

Notably, UFS 1.0 was announced back in 2011, followed by the introduction of UFS 2.0 in 2013, which was up to 4 times faster than the former. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until 2015 when UFS made its smartphone premiere with the Samsung Galaxy S6. Following the same, several smartphones including OnePlus 3, Google Pixel, etc. came with UFS 2.0 storage standards. While UFS 2.0 has been in the industry for a while and used in many smartphones, we now have the entry of a new standard dubbed as UFS 3.0. 

What is UFS? UFS vs. eMMC

UFS vs eMMC Speed comparison

The Universal Flash Storage (UFS) is a standard flash storage specification for consumer electronic devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones, etc. The UFS standard has been developed by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association with its motif to bring higher data transfer speed and increased reliability to flash memory storage.

Importantly, UFS aims to offer high-performance benefits of the SATA interface used in PCs combined with the flash-optimized low power consumption of eMMC. It is based on the SCSI architectural model and supports SCSI Tagged Command Queuing. It allows the operating system to send multiple R/W requests to the storage, which is not possible with eMMC.

Being a new generation of flash storage, UFS offers faster data input/output response vs. eMMC. It results in snappier performance, faster boot times, better file copy rate and quicker data transfers. For starters, users can watch high-quality videos, play high bandwidth games, alongside running multiple processes in the background, flawlessly.

How fast is UFS 3.0? UFS 3.0 vs. UFS 2.1

NAND Storage comparison

In theory, UFS 3.0 has the potential of transferring 11.6Gbps data per lane. And since there are two lanes, the transfer speed can go as high as 23.2Gbps. However, in practical grounds, we could expect a rate of around 15 Gbps (1.875 GB/s). The new standard will bear read speeds of up to 2100MB/s, i.e., 20 times faster than a typical microSD card and 4x faster than SATA SSD drive, accompanied by a peak write speed of up to 410MB/s.

The new standard is optimized for significant reductions in device power consumption, improving the reliability of flash storage at high temperatures. Consequently, you can capture a 4K and even 8K video without straining the phone too much.

How does it affect your phone’s performance?

UFS 3.0, being a step ahead of the current UFS 2.1 standard will offer terrific improvement in your phone’s performance. While some may argue that chipset and RAM are an essential component of a smartphone, the storage matters equally in reality. Our phone incorporates a chip for storing non-volatile data in the long term. It comprises of all your apps, photos, music, as well as the operating system itself. This chip isn’t as fast as RAM but can store information endlessly, even when the device is off. Note that the standard used for your storage chip defines the time and efficiency of accessing information from the same.

With a faster 3.0 standard, you’ll experience much quicker load-up times for applications, seamless multi-tasking, a faster and more powerful camera experience, followed by improved gaming and video experiences, etc. Moreover, tasks like audio and video rendering will be much quicker, compared to the previous generation.

Which phones will come with UFS 3.0 storage?

If you recently bought a high-end smartphone, then it’s most likely to have UFS 2.1 storage. However, recently, OnePlus’s CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the upcoming OnePlus 7 series would incorporate UFS 3.0 storage. That said, Samsung yet again was the first to debut UFS 3.0 on smartphones with its Samsung Galaxy Fold, which unfortunately has been called back over quality control issues.

Indeed, UFS 3.0 is going to redefine the next generation of mobile computing. Let us know your thoughts on this emerging storage standard.

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