JEDEC Solid State Technology Association announced the publication of the latest version of Universal Flash Storage called UFS 3.1 (JESD220E). It promises faster write speeds, better power efficiency and more stable performance under load. In addition, a companion standard known as JESD220-3 or UFS Host Performance Booster (HPB) Extension was also published. The UFS 3.1 standard succeeds the UFS 3.0 standard, which began to appear on certain smartphones in mid-2019, including the Samsung Galaxy Fold and OnePlus 7 Pro among others. OnePlus was the first smartphone brand to bring to use UFS 3.0 on its OnePlus 7 Pro which was later on followed by other brands like Samsung. The OnePlus 8 may use the UFS 3.1 technology as the announcement is in-line with the rumoured OnePlus 8 series launch.
Universal Flash Storage or UFS is the flash standard used in high-end and mid-range smartphones with the alternative being eMMC that is currently used in some entry-level devices. eMMC storage has many disadvantages over the newer UFS, including the inability to read from and write to storage simultaneously. UFS is thus the faster standard than eMMC storage.
UFS 3.1 Features Detailed
According to the press release by JEDEC, the UFS 3.1 is designed for mobile applications and computing systems that require high performance with low power consumption. The new standard has specific three new features that set it apart from its predecessor. These are:
Write Booster: The first as the name suggests will amplify write speeds as it offers an SLC non-volatile cache in UFS.
DeepSleep: The second feature is targeted at low-cost devices. DeepSleep allows low power state targeting lower-cost systems that share UFS voltage regulators with other functions.
Performance Throttling Notification: Finally, this feature allows the UFS device to notify the host when storage performance is being throttled due to high temperature. This is likely to come in use to deliver consistent performance during activities such as gaming.
UFS 3.1 also comes with the optional new JEDEC standard, JESD220-3. This Host Performance Booster (HPB) extension will enhance read speeds in high-density devices by caching their logical-to-physical address map in the system’s DRAM.
The UFS 3.1 standard is likely to show up in upcoming smartphones, most likely in the Galaxy S20 series, second-gen Galaxy Fold and also the OnePlus 8 series.