JEDEC Develops New Ultra-Fast Performance Interface for Flash Memory

Substitution for eMMC Interface Nears Finalization

by Anton Shilov
12/16/2010 | 06:07 PM

JEDEC, a global standard setting committee, has announced that it is moving towards publication of the next-generation flash memory standard, Universal Flash Storage (UFS). The standard will be finalized for public use within the next three months. The UFS interface will connect embedded flash storage to microprocessors in mobile or embedded devices.

 

Developed to help address the ever-increasing demand for improved device performance, UFS has been designed to initially enable data throughput of 300MB/s (equal to Serial ATA-300), and support command queuing features to raise the random read/write speeds. The new standard will be based on a high speed serial interface targeting up to 2.9Gb/s with up-scalability to 5.8Gb/s. UFS will initially offer three times the interface speed of the prevalent eMMC interface, UFS will offer the promise for significant reductions in device power consumption due to a low active power level and a near-zero idle power level.

The new standard also will support multiple commands with command queuing features and enabling a multi-thread programming paradigm, unlike conventional flash-based memory cards and embedded flash solutions, which process one command at a time, limiting random read/write access performance.

“UFS as an industry-wide flash storage standard will address a number of market demands, including faster data access, lower power consumption, and improved performance for flash-based devices, benefiting device designers and consumers alike," said Mian Quddus, chairman of JEDEC’s JC-64 committee for flash memory modules.

Companies like Micron Technology, Montage Technology, Nokia Corp., Phison, Qualcomm Corp., Samsung Electronics and Toshiba already support the standard. Unfortunately, it is unclear when it is set to be adopted by actual devices as all the products in the current roadmaps either rely on existing chips or are pretty far away in terms of time.