Having virtual RAM expansion has become commonplace for smartphones these days, but what if you could do that with storage as well? Xiaomi has just made it possible with its latest flagship phones.
The Chinese phone maker announced the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Pro last week and also made a surprising new feature announcement. This new feature is called UltraSpace storage expansion and it can add up to 8 GB storage in your default memory capacity. This means 256 GB of storage would effectively become 264 GB.
How it Works
Typically, you would have to sacrifice some storage to add virtual RAM, but that’s not the case with Xiaomi UltraSpace. You don’t even need any extra hardware for it to work.
Instead, Xiaomi has ingeniously utilized the reserved space dedicated to Over-Provisioning (OP) within the UFS memory chip. Over-Provisioning is a technique employed to enhance the performance and dependability of flash memory by setting aside a portion for essential functions like Wear Leveling (WL), Garbage Collection (GC), and Bad Block Mapping.
The company discovered that this allocated space is usually larger than necessary. For instance, a 256 GB UFS memory chip offers a total capacity exceeding 266GB, meaning that more than 10GB of space is designated for OP.
Xiaomi’s engineers have devised a method to reclaim this additional space without compromising performance or reliability. According to Xiaomi, this is achieved by reconfiguring the firmware of the system (HyperOS) and streamlining it to occupy considerably less space.
This optimization process has liberated 8 GB on their 256 GB storage models and 16 GB on their 512 GB storage models. This means you can have up to 8 GB of extra storage on the Xiaomi 14, but up to 16 GB on the Xiaomi 14 Pro. This should prove to be incredibly useful when you’re running out of precious storage space.
It remains unclear whether Xiaomi plans to bring UltraSpace storage expansion to other phones, but since it is a firmware level reconfiguration, it is highly likely we will see it in other Xiaomi devices too.