UFS4.0 NAND memory for AI smartphones

UFS4.0 NAND memory for AI smartphones

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Micron Technology is delivering qualification samples of its Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 4.0 mobile devices with breakthrough proprietary technology.

The 232 layer NAND memories from Micron have world’s most compact UFS package at 9yy x 13mm with a vertical height of 8mm for the 256Gbyte version and 8.5mm for the 1Tbyte devices,

The features added to UFS4.0 are key for AI in smartphones, says Micron.

“AI does require significant storage and we provide a level of functionality that’s above the standard,” Mark Montierth, general manager and corporate vice president of Micron’s Mobile Business Unit  tells eeNews Europe at Mobile World Congress.

“We are very much in favour of standard but as they get implemented in use cases you start to see issues. One of the features is one button refresh where we clean house in the background and because we understand the topology of the planes we can ensure this is not performed too many times.”

This is included in the custom multiprocessor controller in the memory device.

“We have the applications and systems lab to really understand what is happening at the system level so we can differentiate and we want to create pull from our customers because of the differentiated features,” Chris Moore, vice president of marketing tells eeNews Europe at MWC.

“With this higher performance device you get better consistency and that gives you more flexibility and can be future proofed with new capabilities. This includes snooping the bus to prioritise reads for example  for loading an app. We perform the characterisation work with customers to identify the workloads.”

Micron is using AI in the development of the control algorithms, for example for zoning UFS. This uses the operating system with knowledge of the workloads creates zones with rules to map those transactions and treat them differently.

“We are working with our customer s to understand future workloads. There are different features and those will have different workloads. Right now its pretty nascent,” said Moore.  

“How to get the performance without killing the battery is key and that’s about understanding the workloads. There is a need to go faster with more capacity.”

The UFS 4.0 memory supports up to 4300 Mbyte/s sequential read and 4000 Mbyte/s sequential write speed, twice the performance of previous generations. 

The significant space savings of the UFS 4.0 package free more real estate for manufacturers to provide a larger battery. In tandem with the solution’s 25% increase in power efficiency, these benefits enable extended battery life for users, even when running power-draining features such as AI, augmented reality, gaming and multimedia apps.

High-Performance Mode (HPM) optimizes performance during intensive smartphone use by prioritizing critical tasks over background tasks. This results in over 25% improvement in speed when launching multiple applications thanks to twice-as-fast storage access during heavy usage.4

One Button Refresh (OBR) allows consumers to reap top performance from their devices longer by automatically cleaning and optimizing data so smartphones can continue operating in a like-new state. Users will benefit from faster read/write performance, resulting in 10% faster app launches5, snappy camera roll access and seamless multi-tasking.

Zoned UFS (ZUFS) allows the host to specify different zones where data can be stored, improving the usefulness of the device over time. This ZUFS approach reduces write amplification to maximize the finite cycles of data that devices can program and erase without degrading device performance — ultimately extending the smartphone life span while keeping devices feeling like new for longer.

Micron is now shipping samples of its upgraded UFS 4.0 in capacities of 256 gigabytes (GB), 512GB and 1TB.


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