Jul 14, 2016

Will UFS memory cards replace microSD cards?

Samsung has developed new UFS memory cards which are supposed to be an improvement over current microSD cards. With microSD cards being so common and such a widespread standard, are UFS memory cards going to replace them, even assuming UFS is a superior standard. Also, is it really a superior standard?
I'm going to go out on a limb and say....maybe. UFS (Universal Flash Storage) is technically superior to microSD. UFS is much faster, which can be a major drag when using microSD cards, even when you ante up for a Class 10 card. Also, UFS will be available in large storage capacities, which is always welcome.

However, there are a couple factors that make me question whether UFS will see widespread adoption. First, I haven't seen a price comparison to microSD cards, and if UFS is significantly more expensive at launch, it will certainly slow adoption, although some users (especially photographers/videographers) will likely be happy to pay up. The second factor, and this is a big one, is that UFS is not a simple plug and play replacement for microSD. Direct from Samsung:
"The new UFS cards are not compatible with the current microSD card socket. However, we have developed a socket design that can support both UFS cards and microSD cards. We are working with different partners in the industry on this integration for next-generation devices."

Samsung is a mobile market leader and has a lot of clout. Still, convincing everyone to sign on to their new proprietary standard is a big ask. Whether other OEMs will think that the performance advantage is compelling enough to get on the UFS train is an unanswered question.
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