World’s most advanced flash memory goes mobile

Micron Technology | July 2021

A wave of innovation is already starting to hit our shores. That wave is 5G-enabled smartphones. We can only begin to fathom the new user experiences that this torrent of 5G innovation will bring.

But a new way of thinking is required to converge mobile, 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. We need a holistic approach where higher memory bandwidth and capacity combine with lower latency and lower power.

Micron’s mobile memory and storage leadership makes it possible to unleash the full potential of 5G experiences. We were first to mass production in LPDDR5 and first to market with uMCP5 technology for 5G, and we continue to enable OEMs to take full advantage of 5G download speeds of 1 Gbps or faster to unlock the power in their advanced processing engines.

Micron continues to lead in memory innovation for high-end and flagship phones and today has announced the world’s first 176-layer mobile UFS 3.1 product shipping in volume. In addition, the updated uMCP5 product, a UFS-based multichip package with low-power DDR5 (LPDDR5) DRAM, is now ready for qualification. Announced earlier, 176-layer NAND technology is the world’s most technologically advanced flash memory with industry-leading density.

Micron’s 176-layer UFS 3.1 product for mobile

Micron’s 176-layer UFS 3.1 product for mobile.

With higher bandwidth, lower latency and greater power efficiency, new 176-layer 3D NAND helps smartphone designers produce a more responsive mobile experience with true multitasking across apps, all powered on a single battery charge. Can technology deliver the mobile experiences that consumers want? You bet, and here’s how.

Speedier downloads and app launches

By leveraging 5G connectivity, AI-enabled mobile applications are unlocking new user experiences that are richer and more immersive than ever before. Consumers expect these experiences to run as smoothly and quickly as the simplest smartphone tasks. Smartphones deliver shows and songs, connect users with friends and family through social networks, and capture life’s most precious moments. Immersion is part of the desired smartphone experience, and the expectation is that instantaneous action follows intent.

But emerging AI-driven technologies — like computational photography, 4K/8K video capture and streaming, mixed reality (AR/VR) and console-like cloud gaming — all require fast memory to quickly save and open downloaded files and launch applications. These use cases are fueled by massive amounts of 5G data generated and processed by AI-powered applications.

As 5G becomes ubiquitous, mobile memory and storage performance must also scale to keep up with fast data download speeds. Micron’s 176-layer mobile UFS 3.1 storage device enables quick downloads with faster app launching, multitasking and switching for seamless mobile experiences. Consumers can take advantage of 5G’s peak data rates, up to 20 Gbps, with a 15% faster mixed workload performance and 35% or more improved read/write latency. This new 176-layer NAND dramatically accelerates application performance with up to 75% faster sequential write times compared with Micron’s previous generation of high-volume 3D NAND.1

In the real world, a user could download a 10-minute 4K (2160p) YouTube video stream in 0.7 seconds or a two-hour 4K movie in about 9.3 seconds, which is much faster than current 5G speeds.2

Micron 176-layer NAND also enhances the quality of service (QoS), with around 10% shorter latency for faster app launching and switching compared to previous generation NAND. It also delivers up to two times more total bytes written (TBW) for improved component stability and longevity.

Enabled by Micron mobile technology

Through Micron’s application of 176-layer NAND as a UFS 3.1 solution, we are making more responsive mobile experiences possible for users, with true multitasking across applications. This storage solution joins our mobile portfolio, along with new LPDDR5 and 1α LPDDR4X memory solutions, to help drive the next wave of 5G- and AI-enabled smartphones.

Learn more

Exciting times and a new way of thinking about smartphone technology! For more information, find us online at and follow us on Twitter @MicronTech and on LinkedIn.

1. Comparisons are based on Micron’s previous-generation UFS 3.1, which uses floating-gate 96-layer NAND.

2. Times given estimate real-world use and are calculated using 256GB density specs and 7GB file size per hour of 4K video. 176-layer UFS 3.1 is 15% faster than our previous-generation UFS 3.1, which uses floating-gate 96-layer NAND.

3. Comparison are based on Micron’s previous-generation UFS3.1, which uses floating-gate 96-layer NAND. Test cases include boot time and image loading.