What Is UFS 3.0 Storage? A Full Guide

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If you have been following the recent leaks of the OnePlus 7 (or the Galaxy Fold debacle), you must have heard about UFS 3.0, the new flash storage solution. This new version of Universal Flash Storage (UFS) brings blazing fast data transfer speeds to the table.

Gt Explains What Is Ufs 3 0 Storage

But is that all UFS 3.0 is capable of? What more is it capable of? More importantly, how does it differ from UFS 2.1?

Well, that's what we are going to find out in this post today.

What Is UFS 3.0 Storage

Before delving deep into UFS 3.0, let us quickly see what Universal Flash Storage (UFS) is.

UFS is a flash storage solution unveiled by standards body JEDEC, and it determines how the storage chip of the phone connects and exchanges information with the rest of the system. This system is responsible for speeding up the data transfer, app load time and also the app installation time on phones.

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Mind you, UFS is used beyond phones. It is available in cars, media players, Chromebooks, and VR systems. The first version of UFS was announced way back in 2011, while the second version, UFS 2.0 was announced in 2013.

However, the UFS storage solution hadn't made its smartphone debate until 2015 when the Samsung Galaxy S6 made a debut. Fast forward a couple of years later, and the UFS 2.1 was seen in many flagships like the OnePlus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Oneplus 5 Ufs 3 0 Storage
OnePlus 5

UFS 3.0, announced in February 2018, is the immediate successor to the UFS 2.1 standard. It is expected to arrive in the upcoming flagships like OnePlus 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

The new storage technology features high-density NAND memories which translate into low power consumption. Along with this, it also brings a faster connection between the two major components - memory and chipset. More importantly, UFS 3.0 features a peak data transfer rate of 23.2 Gbps.

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All these combine to give the user faster response time, whether it is a file transfer, app launches or copying data from one point to the other. That ultimately means better multitasking and faster turnover time without any hiccups in speed. Yep, you can bid farewell to apps hanging midway or snail-speed transfers. And it doesn't end there.

This faster storage solution will also reflect on your phone's photo capturing capabilities — you'll be able to click a burst of photos at a go without any interruptions.

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Even phone backup and restore operations will be much faster. Furthermore, UFS 3.0 is also more power efficient. It comes with a new 2.5V power supply mode for lower power consumption, thanks to the 3-bit V-NAND flash memory chip.

Also, the version 3.0 is capable of operating at very high temperatures, thus making them suitable for the development of UFS-based automotive applications for the automobile industry.

UFS 3.0 And. UFS 2.1

One of the primary differences between the two is speed. UFS 3.0 has twice the speed of its predecessor. On paper, the maximum throughput bandwidth for UFS 2.1 is 1200 MB/s, whereas UFS 3.0 has a whopping bandwidth of 2900 MB/s, which is almost double of its predecessor.

Another difference is in the communication channels. Naturally, with the upgrade, the version 3.0 storage solution will be able to handout better and consistent performance. And as we mentioned above, the newer version has a power consumption of 2.8V as against the 3.3V of its older self.

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Lastly, UFS 3.0 has the support for Samsung's Replay Protected Memory Block, more commonly known as RPMB. If you must know, RPMBs are special hardware partitions used for preventing unauthorized or illegal data copying and require a special key for writing to a specific region.

UFS 3.0 supports multiple RPMBs (naturally with multiple RPMB keys) which should facilitate in keeping your phone's information safe.

Which Devices Qualify for UFS 3.0

If you are planning to buy a 2019 flagship phone like the OnePlus 7, Galaxy Note 10 or the Galaxy Fold, rest assured that you'll be able to have a taste of the blazing speed of the new storage solution on your phone.

Western Digital, one of the key manufacturers of smartphones storage, announced the UFS 3.0 EFD (Embedded Flash Drive) this year, which will undoubtedly make its way to more phones.

Gt Explains What Is Ufs 3 0 Storage

But let's not get ahead of ourselves because it's quite unlikely that this standard will arrive soon in mid-range phones. Just like the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ charging standard that took a while to be available publicly. Even now, phone manufacturers turn to Quick Charge 3.0 as a charging standard.

Higher, Faster, Stronger!

With each passing day, our phones are becoming an extension of us. From remembering what to buy to replying to important emails during off-business hours, most of us get our business done on our phone. And hence, it's important that we perform the task in the quickest possible way.

Thankfully, smartphone tech has undergone massive changes over the last decade. Do you recollect the time when feature phones came without cameras? Today we have at least three camera modules on a single phone, all for different purposes. And well, let's not go into the concept of zooms.

Fortunately, the same progress is seen in areas like phone storage and charging techniques and as well.

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