These days we take the fact that our smartphones ship with anywhere from 4 to 32 or in some cases 64GB for granted, but getting all that storage in such small space is no mean feat. Some of our older readers will remember the days when a 32MB hard driver was not only a big deal, but also a pretty large piece of equipment, oh how far we’ve come. Samsung is even taking things further now, with the announcement that they’ll be building their next generation memory modules using the eMMC 5.1 standard. For those super-interested in their read and write speeds, I’ll go into a little more detail below, but essentially this means that smartphones and tablets using these new modules will get quite a bit faster.
In a blog post from Samsung Semiconductor, the company’s head of memory marketing, Jim Elliot, writes that the JEDEC, the group responsible for standards in the semiconductor industry has approved eMMC 5.1 as a new standard for NAND flash memory. Samsung has already developed modules using eMMC 5.1 in 16, 32 and 64GB densities and have said that they’ll be shipping devices with the new technology later this year. This is an interesting development for a few reasons, but mostly because eMMC 5.1 is faster than eMMC 5.0. As AnAndTech notes, a 64GB module from 2013 – using eMMC 5.0 – featured sequential reads and writes of 250MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively. With eMMC 5.1, a similar 64GB module jumps to speeds of 250MB/s and 125MB/s for read and write, respectively. So, while there’s no change on the read speed, the write speeds get quite the boost.
Faster write speeds will help future smartphones and tablets to install apps and games quicker, improve camera performance with less waiting to write files to disk and more. It’s an interesting development and it’s nice to see that as we go from quad-core CPUs to octa-core CPUs and even higher clock speeds, that the industry is looking at the platform as a whole. If we look at the PC industry as an example, processors and graphics card continued to get faster and faster, but everyday DDR3 RAM didn’t improve much, creating a bottleneck in some machines. Thankfully, our next smartphones and tablets won’t have such a problem.