Western Digital paves the way for next-gen 'Big Data/Fast Data' smartphones

With 5G, AR, AI, and 360-degree streaming video upping the volume, velocity, variety, and value of data, Western Digital expands its 3D NAND portfolio.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

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Western Digital unveils the latest generation of intelligent iNAND 8521 and iNAND 7550 embedded flash drives (EFDs) built to cater for the demands that 5G, AR, AI, and 360-degree streaming video will place on storage.

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The iNAND 8521 utilizes the UFS 2.1 interface and Western Digital's new fifth-generation SmartSLC technology to deliver up to double the sequential write speed, and up to 10 times the random write speed compared with the company's previous iNAND mobile solution for flagship smartphones.

The iNAND 7550 EFD allows device makers to build more cost-effective smartphones and computing devices that feature ample storage to meet the needs of increasing consumer content without compromising performance. Built to e.MMC 5.1 specifications, it delivers sequential write performance of up 260 MB/s and random read/write performance of 20K IOPS and 15K IOPS respectively, dramatically enhancing boot and application launch times.

Both EFDs will be marketed under the SanDisk brand.

"By end of 2018, we estimate that average storage capacity will climb to over 60 gigabytes per smartphone globally to support the growing proportion of rich multimedia content and data-driven experiences from artificial intelligence to augmented reality on the devices," said Neil Shah, research director of devices and ecosystems at Counterpoint Research. "This warrants a move to advanced 3D NAND embedded flash storage solutions, which will drive these richer experiences even further."

Western Digital is currently sampling iNAND 8521 and iNAND 7550 EFDs to OEMs in capacities up to 256GB.

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