With new functionalities, a plethora of apps and the rising usage of in-built phone cameras, there is one thing that smartphone users might be concerned with — the availability of storage space on their devices. Since 2011, average onboard storage space on devices has moved from 8GB to 16GB to 32GB last year.

In 2017, the base variant for leading phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Apple iPhone 8, could start at 64GB and go up to 256GB. By next year, the highest available onboard storage might be doubled to 512GB given the technology from Taiwanese company Silicon Motion Technology Corporation is used.

The company, which manufactures NAND flash controllers for Solid State Storage devices (SSDs) has come out with a new Ultra-Fast Storage (UFS) based controller. The UFS 2.1 controller will offer improved power, performance and storage.

UFS is a technology, which makes file transfer faster and has been used by Samsung in its Galaxy devices, since the Galaxy S6. The UFS 2.1 standard memory chipsets will provide almost three times faster file transfer than current devices. While the existing eMMC memory used on many devices offers speeds of 19,000/14,000 input/output operations per second, the UFS 2.1 will offer 50,000/40,000 input/output operations per second. But the most important feature, which UFS 2.1 will bring is that it will support memory modules of up to 512GB, so users will not only have faster data transfer, but also more space on their phone to store data.

The company, announcing the release of UFC 2.1, in its press release said: “ will usher in a new generation of cost-effective and high-performance embedded memory solutions, just as more application processor platforms roll-out support and more handset OEMs adopt UFS in mainstream devices."

Walter Coon, Director for NAND flash technology research at IHS Markit, commented on the UFS standard: “High-performance multimedia capabilities are a cornerstone for mobile devices today and the addition of 4K and AR/VR capabilities will require more robust and higher capacity UFS embedded memory solutions for the majority of smartphones.”

UFS 2.1 controllers will go into production later this year and could be a part of smartphones launching in 2018.