Embedded MultiMediaCards (eMMCs) are compact storage solutions that combine NAND flash memory and a basic storage controller. The Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) and the MultiMediaCard Association (MMC) created the eMMC standard in 2006 for embedded flash memory use cases.
The technology was originally developed for use in mobile devices like smartphones, but it has now found new applications in IoT sensors (IoT). A single integrated circuit (IC) serves as both the flash memory and the controller for an embedded device.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets use eMMC as their primary storage and supplement it with a microSD or Secure Digital card. Because of their small size, IoT-connected sensors rely solely on it for data storage. Though the interface to the device’s motherboard is parallel, the most recent eMMC specification (version 5.1) supports transfer rates of up to 400 MBps, making it competitive with SATA-connected solid-state drives in terms of speed.
Use cases for eMMC
The mobile device sector, which includes smartphone, tablet, and laptop manufacturers, has been the dominant user of eMMC. The most storage space on an eMMC card is 128 GB; this Samsung product is utilized in ultraportable laptops. There has been a shift toward using smaller eMMC integrated circuits in sensors included in IoT devices that collect data and send it back to a company or organization.
As more cars feature multimedia and navigation systems, eMMCs have also found widespread application in this sector. For the harsh conditions and high-stress levels found in industrial and automotive settings, manufacturers like SanDisk have developed ruggedized eMMCs. These, however, are more expensive than others.
The embedded multi-media card integrated circuit (eMMC IC) is connected to the device’s motherboard via a parallel interface. Data placement into storage is taken care of by the eMMC’s controller rather than the device’s CPU when an eMMC controller is used. This allows the central processing unit (CPU), which is slower and consumes less power than its PC and server counterparts, to focus on more vital operations. The complete IC-based storage uses less electricity than a spinning disc because of flash memory.
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UFS: Replacement for eMMC
To consolidate the eMMC and SD flash memory card standards into a single format, JEDEC released the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) specification in 2011. Samsung introduced its first portable devices with UFS integrated memory (up to 128 GB) in February 2015. Samsung introduced its first UFS-based removable SD cards in July 2016.
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