My laptop only has 256GB of built-in storage. But you can already find smartphones with twice as much storage capacity. Soon you may be able to buy one with four times the storage space.

Samsung has announced it’s begun mass production of the first one terabyte UFS 2.1 flash storage chip for mobile devices.

Odds are that means the company’s upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone will be available with up to 1TB of storage.

Samsung says its chip has the same physical dimensions as its earlier UFS chips, so it won’t take up any more space inside a phone. But it’ll allow you to store much more data.

For example, the company says you could shoot 260 4K videos that were 10 minutes in length and store them all on the phone, whereas a smartphone with just 64GB of storage would only be able to hold about 13 of those videos.

The new chip is also Samsung’s fastest mobile storage solution to date. With sequential read speeds up to 1,000 MB/s, Samsung says the chip is about twice as fast as a “typical 2.5 inch SATA SSD,” although it’s still substantially slower than a PCIe NVMe SSD.

Still, that’s a huge upgrade from eMMC 5.1 storage, which tops out at 250 MB/s and a modest update over the company’s previous UFS 2.1 chips which could hit read speeds up to 860 MB/s.

Keep in mind, that’s the theoretical top data transfer speed though, and real-world results will likely be slower. Here are some of the other theoretical max speeds:

  • Sequential read: 1,000 MB/s
  • Sequential write: 260 MB/s
  • Random Read: 58,000 IOPS
  • Random Write: 50,000 IOPS

Samsung says not only does the increased speed mean that you’ll be able to transfer data more quickly, but it also allows you to do things like shoot high-speed video at 960 frames per second continuously. Previously you could only shoot at that rate for a brief period.

It’s likely that Samsung and other phone makers will only offer 1TB of storage in their highest-priced phones. Entry-level models are likely to ship with substantially less storage… but there’s no word on whether Samsung is bringing a speed bump to its 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB solutions.

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4 replies on “Samsung unveils a 1TB storage chip for smartphones”

  1. It would be good to know if these are TLC or QLC devices. QLC should be less expensive (with less endurance).

    1. Cheap notebooks generally use cheap parts. UFS isn’t cheap. (Relatively speaking, comapred to eMMC)

  2. It becomes even more critical to back up your devices when they hold that much of your digital life.

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