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posted by janrinok on Friday July 08 2016, @02:10AM   Printer-friendly

Gizmag reports that Samsung is expected to be the first company to offer for sale a new type of memory card, Universal Flash Storage. The new cards, which follow a JEDEC standard, have the same size and shape as microSD cards but are electrically incompatible with them.

Samsung claims a "sequential read speed of 530 megabytes per second (MB/s)" and, for the 256 GB card (the largest capacity), a "170 MB/s sequential write speed" and "35,000 random IOPS." Gizmag likened the speeds to those obtainable with SSDs. Cards with capacities as small as 32 GB will be offered.


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Related Stories

Samsung Announces 512 GB NAND Chips for Smartphones 14 comments

Samsung has announced that it is producing 64-layer 512 GB embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) NAND chips for smartphones and other mobile devices. The chips boast 860 MB/s sequential read and 255 MB/s sequential write speeds, and 42k/40k random read/write IOPS.

Toshiba has announced its own 64-layer UFS chips ranging from 32 GB to 256 GB.

Also at Engadget and ZDNet.

Previously: Samsung 256 GB UFS 2.0 Phone Storage is Faster than some SATA SSDs
Samsung to Offer New Type of Flash Memory Card


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @02:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @02:30AM (#371598)

    Is it, whatever that meams? "Storage-class." First thing, kill all the marketers.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mhajicek on Friday July 08 2016, @02:48AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Friday July 08 2016, @02:48AM (#371608)

      "Universal Flash Storage"

      "have the same size and shape as microSD cards but are electrically incompatible with them"

      1. How can it be "universal" if it isn't compatible?

      2. They made it fit but not work. Kill them. Kill them now. Kill them very much.

      • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Friday July 08 2016, @02:51AM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Friday July 08 2016, @02:51AM (#371611)

        sounds like a millennial was in charge of this one.

        oh boy....

        hope it does not fit in the same slot, but it seems it might (?). I'm tired of such shitty standards.

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
        • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday July 08 2016, @03:05AM

          by butthurt (6141) on Friday July 08 2016, @03:05AM (#371617) Journal

          As I understand it, UFS cards will indeed fit in a microSD slot and will not work with devices designed only for microSD. Upcoming hardware will have a single slot in which both types of cards will work. Isn't that preferable to needing distinct slots? I would assume the pin-out was changed for reasons, but I don't know what they might be.

          Wikipedia has a page (begun in 2007!) about the standard:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Flash_Storage [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @04:05AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @04:05AM (#371636)

            As I understand it, UFS cards will indeed fit in a microSD slot and will not work with devices designed only for microSD. Upcoming hardware will have a single slot in which both types of cards will work. Isn't that preferable to needing distinct slots?

            Yes, it is, but the normal solution is to add a tab to the new flavor that stops it fitting in the old slots, but the new slots, with a cutout for that tab, will accept both flavors. Then you don't need distinct slots, but without creating the "fits, but doesn't work" problem.

            That said, it appears from the pictures in TFA as though they actually did it right, and TFS has oversimplified it. The shape pictured is not the same as microSD -- not worth describing textually, just RTFA and you'll see. I assume this shape change is precisely to prevent putting a UFS card in a microSD slot.

            • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday July 08 2016, @06:11AM

              by butthurt (6141) on Friday July 08 2016, @06:11AM (#371680) Journal

              > TFS has oversimplified it.

              That was my doing. The article said the UFS cards are "the same size" as microSD and I added "and shape." Thank you for the correction.

          • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday July 08 2016, @05:00PM

            by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday July 08 2016, @05:00PM (#371905) Journal

            Isn't that preferable to needing distinct slots?

            In a perfect world, yes.

            Unfortunately, in this world, the answer is no, because as soon as these become popular, everybody who's “that so smrt computer dork” will get bombarded with questions about why their laptop at home can't read their thumb drive even though it worked just fine in the office.

            --
            Merry fucking Christmas!
            • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday July 08 2016, @09:30PM

              by butthurt (6141) on Friday July 08 2016, @09:30PM (#372065) Journal

              Another poster corrected me, saying that there's a tab that will prevent UFS cards from going into a slot meant only for microSD.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday July 08 2016, @03:03AM

        by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday July 08 2016, @03:03AM (#371615)

        I guess the idea is the new slot will also accept microSD cards but really, to call it "Universal" and not give it both sets of interfaces so it can go into anything is just daft. Calling the slots "Universal" if they take either type would be ok though, but the article linked doesn't even bother to mention a single device that is equipped for these new products. Of course they didn't announce actual AVAILABILITY of the new cards either which makes sense if there aren't any places to stick them yet. Will it actually ship? Will it be vaporware? Will it get redesigned to be backward compatible before it ships? Who knows, stay tuned because they will almost certainly have more press releases before anything happens for real.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday July 08 2016, @06:20AM

        > They made it fit but not work.

        What could possibly go wrong? I hope that either putting old card in new socket or new card in old socket causes at least one side of the connection to get fried, that way a nice juicy class action will ensue!

        (Disclaimer: once worked for Samsung, parted on less than perfect terms, but I would have made this post no matter what company it was.)
        --
        I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday July 08 2016, @02:50AM

      by butthurt (6141) on Friday July 08 2016, @02:50AM (#371610) Journal

      I can't tell what you're on about. The term "storage class" or "storage-class" doesn't appear in the summary, nor the story, nor the JEDEC link, nor the company's press release. [samsung.com]

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday July 08 2016, @02:33AM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday July 08 2016, @02:33AM (#371601) Journal

    I can't imagine 530 MB/s matters too much for phone use other than transferring video or something. But the IOPS look great (or at least better than anything phones have had, I'm aware of the 100k-1m IOPS SSDs).

    Gizmag likened the speeds to those obtainable with SSDs.

    Thanks Gizmag!

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @04:50AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @04:50AM (#371653)

      Nice option to plug high speed storage into a port instead of tearing apart your laptop to get at the insides. So convenient, I wouldn't surprise me if Apple decides to block out non-Apple cards of this kind so they can gouge their users some more.

    • (Score: 2) by WillR on Friday July 08 2016, @02:28PM

      by WillR (2012) on Friday July 08 2016, @02:28PM (#371793)
      I bet it will be huge in video recording. MicroSD is too slow for 4k60, and future 360-degree stereo cameras are going to need every bit of write performance they can get.
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday July 08 2016, @02:45PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday July 08 2016, @02:45PM (#371801) Journal

        Are you telling me 90 MB/s is not enough for 4K or even 8K? I'm not so sure:

        Secure Digital 5.0 Standard: Memory Cards Intended for 8K and Virtual Reality Recording [soylentnews.org]

        I could definitely see 360° video needing a better speed class than 90 MB/s. Some setups might use 6 or more 8K cameras. Slurp all that footage into an SD card, and you'll want it to be more like an SSD.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by WillR on Friday July 08 2016, @03:25PM

          by WillR (2012) on Friday July 08 2016, @03:25PM (#371826)
          I thought GoPro said they couldn't have a 4k60 mode on the Hero 4 black because no Micro SD cards on the market could keep up. Maybe the new 90MB/s standard will change that...
  • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Friday July 08 2016, @04:16AM

    by bitstream (6144) on Friday July 08 2016, @04:16AM (#371639) Journal

    Is this good enough to replace a SSD ?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday July 08 2016, @04:45AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday July 08 2016, @04:45AM (#371648) Journal

      How would you interface the card with your PC? And would you like to pay a huge per-GB price premium for this form factor?

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @05:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @05:15AM (#371662)

        It's not inconceivable that this will eventually become the cheapest form factor. We've seen it happen a zillion times before.

  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Friday July 08 2016, @04:45AM

    by Gravis (4596) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 08 2016, @04:45AM (#371649)

    People bitch about it not being microSD compatible but that's bullshit because microSDXC (for cards >32GB) mandates that you use the exFAT filesystem. since the filesystem is covered by patents, you have to have a license from microsoft to make or use SDXC in your product. This allows you to get away from that bullshit, have better performance for a lower price (eventually) and proliferate MIPI support (a highspeed IO bus commonly used for cameras). SanDisk fucked up when they made SDXC and this is the correction.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jmorris on Friday July 08 2016, @05:14AM

      by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday July 08 2016, @05:14AM (#371661)

      Actually.... Android has started offering the option to put ext[34] on your card so you can use it for more than a media dumping ground. The logo program and general expectations will pretty much require cards come formatted with exFAT and most devices will probably end up supporting it as the default so as to interoperate with Windows. But the days of Microsoft's dominance are ending, if Google mandated some new filesystem as the default for removable cards you can bet it would be the new standard. Especially if they made free drivers for Windows and Mac easily obtained, it would be game over.

      The problem is for all the bitching there is no viable replacement for fat. The ext[34] file systems are not really suitable for removable media. You can mitigate the security hole of suid and device files on a removable ext filesystem but you can't remap the uid/gids so removable media is always intimately tied to the one system that created it. All of the *NIX fileystems tend to have this problem since it is an inherent property of the OS.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 08 2016, @05:39AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 08 2016, @05:39AM (#371668)

        The ext[34] file systems are not really suitable for removable media. You can mitigate the security hole of suid and device files on a removable ext filesystem but you can't remap the uid/gids so removable media is always intimately tied to the one system that created it.

        So what?
        chmod -R a+rw /mount/point
        is it that hard type?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @02:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @02:32PM (#371795)

          Remember to unchmod it somehow since I want my memory stick back exactly as it were.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday July 09 2016, @02:50AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 09 2016, @02:50AM (#372190)

            since I want my memory stick back exactly as it were.

            Then you won't be able to use the removable media for transfer (this includes archival).
            Even more, you won;t be able to use it for long term backup purposes - at least not longer than the life of your user account that created the files.

            Look, the problem is not with UNIX, but inherently to the "FS for active use and access control enabled" vs "FS for transfer".
            If you want to have both in the same time, the price to pay is a "never expiring and never repeated User Ides" (yes, you can have many, but all related to you and to you only for the entire life). You sure you want this?

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday July 08 2016, @05:49AM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Friday July 08 2016, @05:49AM (#371673)

      microSDXC (for cards >32GB) mandates that you use the exFAT filesystem.

      You can format a 64GB microSD card as FAT32 [demon.co.uk] and Android (Lollipop in my experience) should mount and use it ok.

      • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Friday July 08 2016, @09:53PM

        by Gravis (4596) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 08 2016, @09:53PM (#372077)

        you say should but there are no guarantees it won't just brick because the memory controller from company XYZ is explicitly for exFAT based manipulation.

        • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday July 09 2016, @12:45AM

          by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday July 09 2016, @12:45AM (#372136)

          I should have rephrased that. I've:

          • used that utility to format eight Samsung 64GB EVO microSDXC cards as FAT32
          • run their entire capacities through h2testw
          • inserted all of them into various Android devices
          • have various Android apps read and write files to them

          Also, I think the memory controller only cares about its own low-level formatting that 'creates' the disk blocks. I don't think it's even aware of how the OS sets up and manages various filesystems using those disk blocks -- FAT32, exFAT, ext3/ext4, etc.

          • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Saturday July 09 2016, @09:25PM

            by Gravis (4596) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 09 2016, @09:25PM (#372475)

            Which part of "no guarantees it won't just brick because the memory controller from company XYZ is explicitly for exFAT based manipulation" did you not understand? Or perhaps, do you think all SDXC cards are made by one company?

  • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Friday July 08 2016, @08:10AM

    by pTamok (3042) on Friday July 08 2016, @08:10AM (#371719)

    Note that the UFS standard includes an 'RPMB' security function, as documented here:

    http://universalflash.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/1306_UFSA_White_Paper.pdf [universalflash.org]

    What is RPMB?

    Well, if you look at this presentation (page 13) http://zedboard.org/sites/default/files/documentations/EBU%20eMMC%20Security%20rev1.1%20-%20Non%20Confidential.pdf [zedboard.org]

    You will see that it is "Replay Protected Memory Block" - an area not accessible via standard Block IO, but by a special command set. It's an area where, for example, DRM keys could be written at card manufacture. So this eMMC standard is re-used in the UFS standard.

    More details on its use at Phoronix, here: http://phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-Patches-RPMB [phoronix.com]

    I must admit, I do not know the security implications here, if there are any, for general use of UFS. As far as I know (which is not very far), one of the benefits of UFS is that the standard does not mandate the use of the Microsoft proprietary filesystem, exFAT, unlike SDHC cards. I have not downloaded the UFS standards (available here,'free' download, registration required: https://www.jedec.org/standards-documents/focus/flash/universal-flash-storage-ufs [jedec.org] ) to check - call me lazy if you like.

    http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2520/~/sd%2Fsdhc%2Fsdxc-specifications-and-compatibility [sandisk.com]

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday July 08 2016, @09:23AM

      by janrinok (52) on Friday July 08 2016, @09:23AM (#371732)

      Just an observation - the link that you have provided to the JEDEC UFS specifications is the very same one that is already in TFS.

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Friday July 08 2016, @12:22PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Friday July 08 2016, @12:22PM (#371746)

        Just an observation - the link that you have provided to the JEDEC UFS specifications is the very same one that is already in TFS.

        This is good - it means I'm consistent with the submission. :-)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @08:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @08:09PM (#372007)

    Of course they are. We have all been down this path before.