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Samsung begins rollout of 512GB chip

Semiconductor for smartphones offers highest capacity yet
Dec 06,2017
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Samsung Electronics’ 512-gigabyte smartphone chip can store about 130 10-minute ultra-high-definition video clips. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]
Samsung Electronics on Tuesday began mass production of the industry’s first smartphone chip capable of storing 512 gigabytes of information.

The company plans to embed the flash memory chip in next-generation smartphones.

The high-capacity chip, called eUFS, will be able to store about 130 10-minute ultra-high-definition video clips, compared to 13 videos on the widely available 64-gigabyte chip.

NAND flash memory chips like eUFS have been replacing embedded multimedia cards in smartphones thanks to their high storage capacity and faster processing speeds.

Samsung unveiled the 512-gigabyte eUFS chip last month. In the company’s explanation of how it was built, Samsung said it stacked eight 64-layer 512-gigabit flash memory chips on top of each other, making it one of the densest chips in the world. (Eight bits of data add up to 1 byte.)

After launching a 128-gigabyte chip in January 2015, Samsung released a 256-gigabyte chip last February. The company said the new chip will come in the same physical size as the 256-gigabyte chip.

Samsung emphasized that the new chip includes strong read and write performance in spite of the fact that expanded capacity often leads to slower performance due to the larger amount of energy needed.

“In a random write situation, such as searching for files or downloading video on a phone, the eUFS chip performs 400 times faster than conventional microSD cards,” a Samsung spokesperson said, adding that this will allow smartphone users to take higher-quality photos and use two apps at once on the same display.

Smartphone users had often turned to microSD cards for extra storage and transferring photos and videos to larger hard drives. However, the cards often have slow data processing speeds.

“The new Samsung 512-gigabyte eUFS chip overcomes limitations in system performance that can occur with the use of microSD cards,” said Han Jae-soon, executive vice president of memory sales and marketing at Samsung. “By assuring an early, stable supply of this advanced embedded storage, Samsung is taking a big step forward in contributing to timely launches of next-generation mobile devices around the world.”

Samsung plans to increase production of 64-layer 512-gigabyte V-NAND chips, which are used to make eUFS chips, and 256-gigabyte V-NAND chips to meet surging demand for smartphone chips, solid state drives and external memory cards.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]