Samsung Electronics, South Korea's leading chipmaker, on Thursday announced mass-production of the 128GB 3-bit NAND Flash memory that will be integrated into mid-range smartphones.
The announcement came after the company unveiled the high-performance Universal Flash Storage memory equipped in its new flagship smartphone Galaxy S6 and its Edge variant in February.
Industry watchers predict Samsung to take a two-track strategy in the soaring smartphone memory chip business by supplying the UFS memory for high-end devices and the latest NAND flash memory for mid-range gadgets.
"The new flash memory which features the industry's largest storage capacity also means a dramatic change in the design of Samsung's smartphone lineups," said an industry source declining to be named.
Due to its higher density and slimmer size, the source said, Samsung's new handsets are likely to adopt a unibody design without an external memory card slot.
According to Samsung, the new 128GB memory chip reads 260 megabytes data per second, which is about three times faster than existing high-performance memory chips.
The new chip also boasts 6,000 IOPS ― input/output per second, a measurement for reading and writing of operations ― and 5,000 IOPS for random data reading and writing operations, around four times and 10 times faster, respectively, than an average memory card.
"With the introduction of our value-focused, 3-bit NAND-based eMMC 5.0 lineup, we expect to take the lead in the expansion of high-density mobile storage," said Lee Jung-bae, senior vice president of Samsung's memory product planning and application engineering team.
"We are continuing to enhance our next-generation embedded mobile memory offerings with improved performance and higher densities to meet increasing customer demand."