Smartphones could soon be getting PC-like storage capabilities after Samsung revealed it has started mass production of 256GB memory chips for mobile devices. The embedded chips are based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard and offer speeds almost double that of SATA-based solid state drives (SSD) for desktop PCs, the company says.
According to Samsung, the new memory chip is capable of supporting seamless 4K Ultra HD video playback on a large-screen mobile device while multitasking. What this essentially means is a user could be watching a 4K video in split-screen mode while at the same time browsing the internet, looking at pictures or downloading large files in the background, all without a drop in playback performance. This is all thanks to improved read speeds that allow the chip to move data at up to 850MB/s. Write speeds are lower at 260MB/s, although Samsung notes that this is roughly three times faster than a microSD card. Thanks to USB 3.0 support, you'll be able to transfer a 5GB full HD movie onto your device in about 12 seconds, the company reckons.
Needless to say, users will be able to walk around with a lot more content on their smartphones, too. Samsung claims one 256GB UFS chip is big enough to store around 47 full-length HD movies. While that may appear excessive, bear in mind that the move toward virtual reality and 360-degree video will lead to a big bump in storage needs. Joo Sun Choi, EVP Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics, said the company was preparing for a "paradigm shift" in the mobile data storage market.
When this might happen exactly remains unclear, however. Samsung introduced a 128GB UFS memory chip for mobile devices in February 2015, although we've yet to see that materialise in the real world, meaning there's no telling when we might be walking around with 256GB of computing power in our pockets.