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Memory and Storage

Qualcomm, Toshiba Team on UFS Serial Flash

16 January 2014

Toshiba and Qualcomm are working together to bring Universal Flash Storage (UFS) version 2.0 to tablets computers and smartphones.

Toshiba has announced that Qualcomm will produce a version of its Snapdragon 800 series application processor, the 805, designed to interface to UFS v2.0 NAND flash memory. The Snapdragon 805, able to utilize UFS v2.0 NAND memory is scheduled to go into production in 2Q14, Toshiba said, addedng that it expects addition UFS-enabled application processors will follow.

UFS is a JEDEC standard for serial communications interface and has been developed as a potential successor to the e-MMC [enhanced multimedia memory card] interface format. Toshiba has been an early pioneer of UFS and has shipped 64-Gbyte embedded NAND flash memory modules equipped with a UFS v1.1 interface since early 2013, primarily to enable chipset and OS vendors to develop the capabilities to utilize UFS.

Toshiba NAND flash memory modules with UFS v2.0 will be in mass production in 2Q14, at the same time as the Snapdragon 805, and have been designed for range of digital consumer products - including smartphones and tablets, Toshiba said.

In UFS v2.0, the link bandwidth has been increased from 300-Mbyets/s in UFS v1.1 to up to 600-Mbytes/s per lane, and multilane support has been introduced allowing up to 1.2-Gbytes/s per each data transfer direction. UFS therefore allows considerable improvements in data transfer rates, but improvements that are required to support multimedia applications with rapidly increasing image resolution. UFS v2.0, references the M-PHY v3.0 specification set by the MIPI Alliance organization as its physical interconnect layer.

"High-end smartphones and tablets will be the first to adopt and take advantage of the performance benefits of UFS over e-MMC," said Scott Nelson, senior vice president of Toshiba's US memory business unit, in a statement. "As UFS migrates to mid-range products, the embedded mobile memory market will transition from e-MMC to UFS, though e-MMC will likely continue to support the low-end for some time."

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Qualcomm Aims 64-bit Processor at Low-End

3-D is Key to Next-Generation NAND Flash

Big Year for SSDs Expected in 2013

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