Industry Aligns Behind JEDEC Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Standard

New Standard to Publish in Early 2011; Offers Promise of Ultra-Fast Performance for Consumer Electronics Devices

ARLINGTON, Va., USA – DECEMBER 16, 2010JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced that it is moving towards publication of the next-generation flash memory standard, Universal Flash Storage (UFS). Major progress achieved at recent JEDEC committee meetings provides visibility on the anticipated UFS interface, which has been designed to be the most advanced specification for flash memory-based storage in mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. Developed to help address the ever-increasing demand for improved device performance, UFS has been designed to initially enable data throughput of 300 megabytes per second (MB/s), and support command queuing features to raise the random read/write speeds. The standard will be finalized for public use within the next three months.

An explosion of data-intensive applications for mobile devices is driving the need for versatile storage solutions, and currently available flash storage options might not have the span to match overall system performance planned for future generation platforms. UFS will provide a dramatic change in architecture to increase performance while maintaining the benefits of low power consumption offered by existing solutions such as e•MMCTM.

The new standard will be based on a high speed serial interface targeting up to 2.9 gigabits per second (Gbps) with up-scalability to 5.8Gbps. UFS will initially offer three times the interface speed of the prevalent e•MMC interface, which is comparable to serial ATA-2. Moreover, 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 new standard also will support multiple commands with command queuing features and enabling a multi-thread programming paradigm, unlike conventional flash-based memory cards and embedded flash solutions such as e•MMC, which process one command at a time, limiting random read/write access performance.

Speaking from a recent technical committee meeting in San Francisco, Mian Quddus, Chairman of JEDEC’s JC-64 Committee for Flash Memory Modules, noted: “UFS as an industry-wide flash storage standard will address a number of market demands, including faster data access, lower power consumption, and improved performance for flash-based devices, benefiting device designers and consumers alike.”

JEDEC will offer an overview of UFS at its 2011 International CES® conference program. For more information:

Work on UFS has been coordinated through a dedicated JEDEC committee, and is supported by principal consumer electronic and cell phone OEMs. In addition to UFS development work within JEDEC, some major participants have founded a new organization, the Universal Flash Storage Association (UFSA), to develop an UFS ecosystem and support environment for UFS devices and host applications.

Industry Support

Micron Technology: “UFS represents a revolutionary improvement in mobile memory solutions. Its improved data throughput speeds, enhanced command queuing and reduced power consumption are the cornerstones of its value to the mobile industry,” said Marco Dallabora, vice president of Wireless Solution Group, Micron Technology Inc. “Micron is committed to developing and enabling UFS based solutions for future handset architectures.”

Montage Technology: “Virtually every mobile application will benefit from UFS since it has been collectively developed by the industry's leading companies to address their future wants and needs. As a world leader in low power devices, Montage fully supports the Industry's UFS strategy,” said Desi Rhoden, Executive Vice President, Montage Technology.

Nokia: “UFS is the first mobile storage standard which provides excellent performance, high density and most of all a feature set designed to support system memory usage by design. It will be an essential open standard for facilitating cross-hardware support,” said Mikael Sundholm, head of technology planning, Nokia.

Phison: “Combining the speed of SSD with the slim form factor and low power of e•MMC, UFS is tailored for today’s mobile platforms.  Phison is dedicated to bringing the best NAND flash solutions to market, and UFS is definitely on the list.  Phison is committed to developing UFS controller and enabling the memory solutions,” said K.S. Pua, CEO of Phison Electronics.

Qualcomm: “UFS offers higher performance and a number of other features that are valuable in the growing mobile market,” said Raj Talluri, vice president of product management at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.  “Qualcomm is looking forward to enabling UFS as an embedded storage solution in future mobile platforms.”

Samsung Electronics: “UFS will be the first solution for storage to offer the best of two worlds: high performance of the SATA interface for PCs, and flash-optimized low power consumption of e•MMCs for mobile applications. Samsung is committed to disseminating UFS-based products for future storage architecture,” said Jim Elliott, Vice President, Memory Marketing and Product Planning, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. 

TOSHIBA: “UFS is going to be a well-established interface which can be utilized by a wide variety of applications such as smart phones and tablet PCs.  UFS is not only a solution for high performance and lower power consumption, but is also a simplified system architecture configured by its high speed serial interface,” said Masaki Momodomi, Technology Executive of Memory Products, TOSHIBA Corporation's Semiconductor Company.  “TOSHIBA will provide UFS memory devices as well as system solutions for it to the market by using our cutting-edge technologies.”

About JEDEC:
JEDEC is the leading developer of standards for the microelectronics industry. Over 3,000 participants, appointed by nearly 300 companies, work together in 50 JEDEC committees to meet the needs of every segment of the industry, manufacturers and consumers alike. The publications and standards that they generate are accepted throughout the world. All JEDEC standards are available online, at no charge. For more information, visit

Emily Desjardins