eMMC vs UFS | Difference between eMMC and UFS interface types

This page compares eMMC 5.0 interface vs UFS 2.0 interface and mentions difference between eMMC and UFS memory storage types.

Introduction: Both are used as embedded memory cards to store information in smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices. UFS is successor of eMMC standard used as exmbedded NAND flash memory. Let us understand both eMMC and UFS with respect to their speed, performance, energy consumption as well as other parameters.

What is eMMC interface ?

The term eMMC stands for Embedded Multimedia card. It is advanced NAND flash memory used in mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, GPS and other mobile computing devices. The latest eMMC standard is version 5.1. The previous ones are eMMC 4.5 and eMMC 5.0.

eMMC Interface

The eMMC card is very compact in size which is smaller than postage stamp. It is used for smaller and thinner devices to offer better performance and power efficiency.

eMMC supports half duplexing hence reading and writing can not be done simultaneously. With eMMC card, either read or write operation is supported. It uses parallel interface with 8 I/O.

What is UFS interface ?

UFS uses LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signaling) serial high speed interface. It supports full duplexing and hence read and write operations can be performed simultaneously.

UFS Interface

UFS supports comman queuing concept. Hence host system can send series of both read and write commands to be operated on by UFS device while host system performs other tasks. There are various versions of UFS interfaces which include UFS 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 and 3.1. Refer difference between UFS2 vs UFS2.1 vs UFS3 vs UFS3.1 >>.

Difference between eMMC and UFS

Following table mentions difference between eMMC and UFS interface.

Features eMMC 5.0 UFS 2.0
Year of introduction 2013 2014
Interface Parallel (x8) LVDS serial
Data transfer Half duplex (Either read or write) Full duplex (Both read and write at a time)
Sequential Read (Mbps) Less (~250) More (~350)
Sequential Write (Mbps) Less (~90) More (~150)
Random Read (IO/s) Less (~7000) More (~19000)
Random Write (IOP/s) Less (~13000) More (~14000)
Latency (i.e. data transfer time) More Less
Performance Low High
Power Consumption More Less
Bandwidth (of data transfer) Lower Higher

The values in the table are with respect to eMMC 5.0 and UFS 2.0 as per comparison done by samsung for its memory devices.

Conclusion: UFS offers better performance (i.e. latency), data transfer speed and energy consumption than eMMC. Also refer advantages or benefits of UFS storage interface over e-MMC.

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