Move over CF & SD; A faster flash spec is on the way
We reported last month that the CompactFlash Association (CFA) was releasing a new 6.0 specification that would be faster and higher-capacity than Secure Digital (SD), and that the supporting corporations hoped would someday also be more popular. Now, however, both are soon going to have some competition from a new standard called Universal Flash Storage (UFS).
JEDEC, which is an “established industry standards group” according to CNET, showed off UFS last week at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. They say that UFS, “has been designed to be the most advanced specification for flash memory-based storage in mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers,” and that they’re expecting to publish an official specification during the first quarter of this year.
Like CF 6.0, UFS has some big corporate names rooting for its success, including Micron Technology, Qualcomm, Nokia, Samsung, and Toshiba. In fact, Toshiba has openly praised UFS for its lower power-consumption and high performance.
As far as the performance goes, initial UFS products will have transfer rates of 300 megabytes per second. And JEDEC expects that to double as the standard improves. On the issue of power consumption the group says that, “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 SD Association, however, believes that their specification will hold strong in the marketplace despite this competition.
“The market and consumers have coalesced around the proven and easy-to-use SD standard,” the association’s spokesman Kevin Schader said. “The SD Association’s commitment to innovation of new specifications will keep it well positioned to meet future market needs and be the common interface for memory cards, embedded, and I/O [input-output].”
But an industry analyst thinks that availability in an embedded form and the use of the SATA standard will give USF the advantage that could rival SD. “UFS is first and foremost the next-generation EMMC. And that is an embedded product,” Michael Yang of iSuppli.
Of course, anything could happen in future products, but both CF and UFS have a long road ahead of them to catch up to the popularity of SD.
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