Samsung wants the next wave of mid-range smartphones to come with huge amounts of internal storage, reducing the need for microSD card expansion. To facilitate this, the company has launched an affordable, high-performance 128 GB NAND flash module based on eMMC 5.0 technology.
This 128 GB module is "the industry’s highest density eMMC 5.0 solution", according to Samsung. Rather than giving smartphone manufacturers the highest performance through UFS 2.0 or eMMC 5.1 interconnects, this NAND module is designed to speed up the adoption of high-capacity NAND, particularly outside the flagship space.
Samsung's 3-bit 128 GB eMMC 5.0 NAND module is capable of 260 MB/s sequential reads, which is the same as what you get from MLC NAND eMMC 5.1 memory. Sequential write speeds weren't mentioned, although random reads and writes are rated at 6,000 and 5,000 IOPS respectively.
The random performance of this module is four and ten times faster (for read and write respectively) than a typical microSD card, which this memory is intended to replace. With 128 GB of storage on board a smartphone, a microSD card slot is no longer necessary, which can simplify the design of the phone.
Samsung has already removed the microSD card slot on the Galaxy S6 in favor of internal NAND storage only, so it's possible the company will do the same for their mid-range devices. And if the included NAND is 128 GB in size and doesn't add a significant premium to the price of the handset, removing the microSD slot won't be so bad.