At this year’s MWC in Barcelona, Samsung Semiconductor exhibited its latest solutions and products for mobile applications, and shared its vision of the future of mobile components.
Consumers are demanding feature-rich applications and higher quality multimedia content in their mobile devices delivered at high speeds with no delays. At the same time, battery operated mobile devices strive for low power consumption in active and idle periods with quick transfer times. Samsung has developed its UFS* mobile solutions, Exynos processor, and ISOCELL image sensor to address these needs and power the advancement of mobile technology.
As the world leader in advanced memory technology, Samsung is driving the industry into the new era of mobile storage with its next-generation storage solutions. The state-of-the-art UFS storage solutions, which includes embedded UFS (eUFS) v3.0, uMCP, and UFS Card, will allow mobile applications to evolve to the next level of performance.
Samsung’s eUFS v3.0 is the world’s first eStorage solution utilizing the UFS v3.0 interface. It offers faster performance and less power consumption than UFS v2.1. For example, compared with UFS v2.1, sequential read speeds showed a 70% increase, and power consumption in idle mode demonstrated a 50% decrease*. Aside from the increased performance, Samsung has also announced increased density. Storage capacity was previously limited to 256GB. However, that barrier has now been broken as Samsung has officially announced its new 512GB embedded UFS solution. Just as SSD is replacing HDD and eUFS is replacing eMMC, the time has come for external storage to be replaced by a more advanced solution as well.
uMCP is a multichip package that is equipped with UFS and DRAM. Samsung offers the industry’s highest density MCP, which allows for high capacities at fast speeds while keeping a slim profile. uMCP combines Samsung’s 4th-gen V-NAND UFS with its 1xnm LPDDR4X, which provides design flexibility all without sacrificing performance.
Samsung UFS Card, a new type of external storage solution, is specially designed for applications which require faster and higher-capacity external storage, including 4K/8K video recording, 360-degree VR, drones, various IOT devices, 5G applications, as well as smartphones. Compared to the highest performance of microSD UHS-I cards, UFS Card performance is 5 to 6 times faster in sequential read , 20 times faster in random read and 70 times faster in random write, all while consuming 40% less power**. UFS Cards have more reliable signal integrity and robust architecture by adopting MIPI,*** MPHY, and UNIPRO as its physical and link layer, while microSD UHS-I cards only use pin pads.
The UFS central unified interface for all three of these solutions- eUFS, removable UFS Cards, and DRAM integrated solutions like uMCP - will simplify the solutions available in the industry by removing the need to develop different types of interfaces for embedded storage and removable storage, while providing the benefits of ultra-high performance and low power consumption.
*UFS (Universal Flash Storage) is the NAND based storage specification defined in JEDEC which has defined international standard specs for DRAM, LPDDR, NAND, eMMC, UFS, UFS Card, etc. since 1958.
**Based on Samsung’s internal test conditions. Actual results may be affected by various factors.
*** MIPI is an industry alliance which has been developing mobile interface specifications professionally in physical layers and link layers since 2003. JEDEC adopted MIPI’s MPHY and UNIPRO for its state-of-the-art NAND based storage specification, UFS since 2011.
Samsung has and is continuously pushing the limits of mobile performance with its mobile SOCs for the best user experience on smart devices. During the MWC 2018, Samsung showcased brand-new Exynos processors which will inspire the next generation smartphones with new custom CPU or high-end Cortex®-A73 cores for extreme performance, and new integrated modem supporting every major network (6-mode) for fuller coverage.
The Exynos 9 Series 9810, which powers the Galaxy S9 and S9+, built on the Samsung’s second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process, elevates the performance of a premium mobile application processor further with its powerful third-generation custom CPU, and an incredibly fast 1.2Gbps 6CA LTE modem. Through a deep learning-based sophisticated image processing, the processor can accurately recognize people or items in photos for fast image searching or categorization. At the MWC, the Exynos 9810, in conjunction with the Samsung ISOCELL Fast 2L3 image sensor, demonstrated 960fps super slow motion that slows split second into an epic film.
In addition, Samsung displayed the new Exynos 7 and 5 Series processors. The Exynos 7 Series 7885 and Exynos 5 Series 7872, built on advanced 14-nanometer (nm) process technology for excellent power efficiency, are the first high-to-mid end Exynos solutions to adopt dual high-performing yet power efficient Cortex®-A73 cores to work with hexa or quad Cortex®-A53 cores respectively. With the main CPU clocking over 2.0GHz (2.2GHz for Exynos 7885), both delivers an amazing single and multi-core performance resulting in faster app launching, website loading, and seamless multi-tasking. In addition to the embedded modem’s all-network support, both processors support dual-camera, a premium-feature for creative photography.
With advanced pixel technology, the Samsung ISOCELL image sensors are enabling professional grade photography even in a minute size to fit in slimming edge-less smartphones. Under the new branding, launched last year, the Samsung ISOCELL image sensors fall into four categories—Fast, Slim, Bright and Dual—depending on their key attributes. At the MWC, two most technologically advanced image sensors, ISOCELL Slim 2X7 and Fast 2L3, were showcased.
The ISOCELL Slim 2X7 is the first sensor in the industry to have the pixel size below 1.0μm. With pixels at just 0.9 μm in size, 24 million pixels (Mp) can be fitted in the image sensor while keeping the total form factor small enough for a slim smartphones. The sensor also uses Tetracell, a technology that merges four neighboring pixels to work as one to increase light sensitivity letting the sensor to take brighter photographs in the low lit environment.
The ISOCELL Fast 2L3, which enables the out-standing camera performance of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, is Samsung’s first 3-stack Fast Readout Sensor. 2L3 not only can focus on to a subject instantly with the DUAL PIXEL technology but also record a super-slow motion video at a fast 960 frames per second (fps). With a 2Gb LPDDR4 DRAM layer attached to the sensor, it’s able to store a larger number of frames taken in high speed quickly allowing a full-frame snapshot at 1/120 of a second and record super-slow motion video at up to 960 frames per second. Being able to take single or multiple frames in a split second, the sensor significantly reduces the image distortion of fast-moving objects, 3-Dimensional Noise Reduction (3DNR) when shooting in low-light, and even enable real time high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging.
Through Samsung’s technological advancements in mobile with Exynos and ISOCELL, Samsung is connecting and securing the homes and automotive with IoT and Automotive solutions. At the MWC, Samsung demoed an IoT-dedicated Exynos i T200 processor, highly personalized smart speaker reference platform, 5+ CC certified IoT SE authentication, contactless companion platform for wearable, and dynamic vision sensor for motion detection. For automotive, ExynosAuto was displayed for car’s infotainment, autonomous driving, and telematics and WDR image sensor was demoed for object detection in high contrast light conditions using a model tunnel.