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Samsung leads eMMC, eMCP memory segment

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eMMC? eMCP? Samsung?

eMMC and eMCP memory includes controllers. Some vendors are using their in-house controllers to gain a competitive advantage. Wang says:

Some NAND flash vendors, including SNKD, Toshiba and Samsung, still use in-house controllers. Since the geometry of NAND flash moves fast and also the configurations of NAND flash chips between vendors are slightly different, it's important to have a close relationship between controller vendors and chip vendors. That's one advantage of in-house controllers. The other advantage is the cost.

Despite the success stories, challenges remain for mobile memory, and Wang identifies speed and performance as the top ones, as mobile memory is challenged to meet the demands of high-performance processors. As a result, he expects universal flash storage (UFS) memory to see its initial adoption in the second half of 2014, but only in very high-end, flagship products to start.

The advantages of UFS memory (as compared to eMMC/eMCP memory) are better performance, higher capacity, better bandwidth, better IOPS, and optimised performance for multi-threaded applications, according to Wang. UFS uses a serial interface (eMMC is a parallel interface) and asynchronous I/O (eMMC is synchronous I/O), enabling it to efficiently move data between the host processor and mass storage.

Wang notes that currently the cost and power consumption of UFS is higher than eMMC, so this will constrain its adoption. However, with the introduction of multi-core architectures that require high-performance memory, UFS is well positioned. "Although the power consumption of UFS is higher than eMMC, its energy efficiency is better," says Wang. He expects to see UFS in high-end smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks. eMMC will still be the best choice for mid-to-low cost mobile applications. Wang also points to SATA SSDs as competition for UFS in ultrabook applications. Finally, he notes that UFS is not backward compatible with eMMC, which will slow its adoption in applications where eMMC is already used.

- Janine Love
??EE Times

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