The MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) and the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (JEDEC) published version 4.3 of the Embedded MMC (eMMC) and Card Product Standard. The specification provides a standardized protocol for embedding mass storage flash memory on host systems. The new features build on the eMMC standard, which is currently supported by all major handset and navigation product manufacturers.
The enhanced specification includes two new features for embedded memory applications: power-on boot and explicit sleep mode, which translate to significant benefits for the end-user. Power-on boot defines a way for the boot-code to be accessed by the host controller without an upper-level software driver, speeding the time it takes for a controller to access the boot code. Explicit sleep mode enables the host controller to directly instruct eMMC to enter power-saving sleep mode – an enhancement that has an immediate positive impact on power efficiency.
The eMMC standard simplifies embedding mass storage flash memory on host systems. The standardized protocol interface offers designers high performance, while keeping complex functional differences among NAND flash suppliers invisible to the host. This differs from conventional architecture where a host system must support NAND products from multiple companies in a generic manner by necessity.
The benefits of using 4.3-standardized eMMC are a simpler product design and qualification process, and an overall shorter time to market. The eMMC specification is present in solutions from leading component manufacturers including Micron, Samsung, Spansion, ST Microelectronics and Toshiba.