Samsung has announced the world’s first removable UFS (Universal Flash Storage) memory cards, offering storage capacity of either 32, 64, 128, or 256 gigabytes, and performance speeds that simply leaves older formats behind.
The UFS cards have sequential read speeds of up to 530 megabytes per second — five times faster than the best microSD cards. That means reading a 5 gigabyte, full HD movie in roughly 10 seconds, says Samsung, compared to a UHS-1 microSD card which manages the same feat in around 50 seconds
Write speeds are also significantly improved, with rates of up to 170 MB/s. That’s nearly double the performance of the very fastest microSDs which has write speeds of up to 100 MB/s.
Samsung says all this power is necessary to keep up with the abundance of high-resolution footage being generated by devices from smartphones to action cams, drones to 360-degree cameras.
While the new UFS standard has appeared as embedded memory in a few devices (notably Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge), there are no products that yet support the cards as removable storage.
The design of the cards looks similar with the micro SD from the front, but the pin configuration on the back is not yet compatible with current phones. though they UFS might be the clear technological successor to formats used in microSD cards, Samsung is yet to announce its availability and price.
It would be interesting to see how this plays out and how consumers would respond to it.