Universal flash storage (UFS) has been around for a while and its currently used in popular high-end Samsung smartphones as main memory and secondary memory. Why is UFS the new storage choice and why is it so important.
Micro SD cards or as it is popularly known as memory cards has been one of the best breakthrough in computer storage devices, the technology has made it possible to fit in more than 200GBs of storage into a tiny card as small as my finger nail, micro SD cards has enabled flexibility in small devices that full-scale computers a decade ago could not boast of. But in this age of high speed solid state drives, SATA 3.0 pots, PCI Express drives and eMMC drives the major problem all storage devices must overcomes is the bottleneck of SPEED.
Speed has been the drawback of micro SD which is becoming popular as primary storage in small devices like smartphones, chrome books and hybrid PCs like the Tecno Winpad 2; Poor application performance when running applications on micro SD cards lead engineers to develop a new storage format called UFS (Universal Flash Storage). The new format which is set to replace micro SD cards brings a lot of improvement in a lot of ways.
UFS brings lots of improvement because of their faster speed, the top read and write speed of most SD cards are below 100MBPS even Ultra High Speed -II (UHS-II) micro SD cards has a maximum read and write speed of 156MBPS, UFS on the other hand has a read speed of 530MBPS which is can be compared a high end SATA 3.0 solid state drives (SSD) and its write speed of 170MBPS.
UFS is highly recommended as a primary storage for running operating systems, installing applications or hard disk replacement on chrome books and hybrid laptops because UFS also has improved random performance commonly known as IOPS (input Output per seconds). Micro SD card have about 3000IOPS but UFS can go up to 40000 IOPS, that is not as fast as good as an average SSD IOPS which can scale up to 70000IOPS, but 30000IOPS is still insane fast for a tiny card compared to microSD 3000IOPS and is still a lot faster than the conventional Hard Disk.
UFS gives greater flexibility over micro SD on smartphones as many developers don’t allow apps to run from micro SD because its slow speed can affect app performance, if you have device running Android 5.0 and above you would have noticed that apps are not allowed to be installed on Micro SD because of concerns over app performance. However, with UFS that limitation may be history because developers would not have to worry about reduced app performance due to slow external memory.
Another benefit of UFS is aimed at solving is the limitation of low storage capacity on smartphones and would not be forced to pay exorbitant prizes to manufacturers to get a high capacity storage smartphone all users have to do is put in their own storage. Battery life will also improve as UFS standard is set to reduce battery consumption over Micro SD cards as they consume far less power than SD cards.
The new format is exciting with a whole lot of benefits over its predecessor, However we may be forced to wait a lot longer before we benefit from this growing standard as there are currently only few devices with UFS card readers and UFS card storage are a whole lot more expensive than micro SD card of the same storage.