JEDEC announced the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) standard, a new specification for flash memory-based storage in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The final specification is expected to be ready in early 2011.
JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced that it is moving towards publication of the next-generation flash memory standard, Universal Flash Storage (UFS). Major progress achieved at recent JEDEC committee meetings provides visibility on the anticipated UFS interface, which has been designed to be the most advanced specification for flash memory-based storage in mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. Developed to help address the ever-increasing demand for improved device performance, UFS has been designed to initially enable data throughput of 300 megabytes per second (MB/s), and support command queuing features to raise the random read/write speeds. The standard will be finalized for public use within the next three months.
An explosion of data-intensive applications for mobile devices is driving the need for versatile storage solutions, and currently available flash storage options might not have the span to match overall system performance planned for future generation platforms. UFS will provide a dramatic change in architecture to increase performance while maintaining the benefits of low power consumption offered by existing solutions such as e•MMCTM.
The new standard will be based on a high speed serial interface targeting up to 2.9 gigabits per second (Gbps) with up-scalability to 5.8Gbps. UFS will initially offer three times the interface speed of the prevalent e•MMC interface, which is comparable to serial ATA-2. Moreover, 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 such as e•MMC, which process one command at a time, limiting random read/write access performance.
Speaking from a recent technical committee meeting in San Francisco, Mian Quddus, Chairman of JEDEC’s JC-64 Committee for Flash Memory Modules, noted: “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.”
JEDEC will offer an overview of UFS at its 2011 International CES® conference program. For more information: http://www.cesweb.org/conferenceProgram/search/results.asp?categoryID=2048.
Work on UFS has been coordinated through a dedicated JEDEC committee, and is supported by principal consumer electronic and cell phone OEMs. In addition to UFS development work within JEDEC, some major participants have founded a new organization, the Universal Flash Storage Association (UFSA), to develop an UFS ecosystem and support environment for UFS devices and host applications.