What’s the Difference between eMMc 5.1 & UFS 2.1 flash?

How big is the gap between eMMc 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash, and how does it affect users' daily experience?

Table of Contents

Flash memory technology has revolutionized the storage industry, enabling compact and high-capacity storage solutions for various electronic devices. Among the different types of flash memory, eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 are two popular options. In this article, we will explore the differences between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory technologies, examining their features, performance, and use cases.

Understanding Flash Memory

Before delving into the differences between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1, let’s first understand flash memory. Flash memory is a type of non-volatile storage that can retain data even when power is removed. It consists of memory cells that store data by trapping electric charges within transistors. This technology offers several advantages, such as high speed, low power consumption, compact size, and shock resistance.

What is eMMc, UFS

eMMc stands for Embedded Multi Media Card. eMMc is a standard embedded memory for mobile phones and tablet PCS. eMMc originated earlier than UFS. EMMC flash was used in Plam Pre phones in 2011, and eMMC5.1 was used in large-scale mobile phones in 2015. UFS is called Universal Flash Storage, also known as “Universal Flash Storage”, is also a standard specification of embedded memory, and is also integrated with the master chip Flash. In 2016, mobile processors gradually added support for UFS2.0, and in 2017, UFS 2.1 began to appear in a number of flagship mobile phones.

eMMc flash is built based on parallel data transmission technology. Each data channel can be read and written, but only read or write operations can be performed at the same time, resulting in slow transmission speed. UFS flash is based on serial data transmission technology. Although there are only two data channels, due to the use of serial data transmission, its actual data transmission speed is much faster than eMMC flash.

In summary, both eMMc and UFS flash are used as embedded memory, but they follow different standard specifications.

Ufs2.1 is nearly three times as powerful as EMMC 5.1, which means UFS is strong, but it doesn’t mean EMMC is weak, there are still laptops that use EMMC storage.

▮ Difference between EMMC 5.1 & UFS 2.1

① Speed and Performance Comparison

When it comes to speed and performance, UFS 2.1 outperforms eMMC 5.1. UFS 2.1 flash memory utilizes a serial interface that enables faster data transfer rates compared to eMMC’s parallel interface. This results in quicker read and write speeds, reducing the loading time for applications and enhancing overall system performance.

  1. Read and Write Speeds: In terms of read and write speeds, UFS 2.1 outshines eMMC 5.1. UFS 2.1 utilizes a serial interface, allowing for faster data transfer rates compared to the parallel interface used by eMMC 5.1. This translates to significantly reduced loading times for applications, smoother multitasking, and improved system responsiveness. Whether it’s opening large files, loading graphics-intensive games, or transferring data, UFS 2.1 excels in delivering lightning-fast performance.
  2. Random Access Speeds: Another aspect where UFS 2.1 demonstrates its superiority is in random access speeds. Random access refers to the ability to access data from any location in the memory quickly. UFS 2.1’s advanced architecture and command queuing mechanisms enable faster random access, resulting in snappier app launches, seamless multitasking, and smoother navigation through data-heavy applications.
  3. Sequential Data Transfer: When it comes to sequential data transfer, both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 exhibit impressive performance. Sequential data transfer refers to reading or writing data in a continuous manner, such as when copying large files. While UFS 2.1 offers slightly higher sequential data transfer speeds compared to eMMC 5.1, the difference may not be as noticeable in everyday use cases. However, for tasks that involve large file transfers or multimedia processing, UFS 2.1’s superior sequential data transfer speeds can provide a tangible advantage.
  4. Multitasking and Multithreading: Multitasking and multithreading capabilities are crucial for modern devices, allowing users to perform multiple tasks simultaneously without compromising performance. UFS 2.1, with its enhanced performance and command queuing mechanisms, excels in handling multitasking scenarios. It can efficiently handle data requests from multiple applications, ensuring smooth and seamless performance even under heavy workloads. eMMC 5.1, while capable of multitasking, may experience a slightly higher latency compared to UFS 2.1 in complex multitasking scenarios.
  5. Real-World Performance Impact: In real-world usage scenarios, the performance difference between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 becomes more apparent. Devices equipped with UFS 2.1 tend to exhibit faster app launches, quicker data access, and smoother overall user experiences. Tasks such as photo and video editing, gaming, and data-intensive applications benefit significantly from the improved speed and responsiveness offered by UFS 2.1. However, it’s important to note that day-to-day tasks like web browsing, social media usage, and basic productivity apps may not showcase a substantial performance difference between the two technologies.

② Power Efficiency

In terms of power efficiency, UFS 2.1 outperforms eMMC 5.1 flash memory technology. Its optimized power consumption, active power management capabilities, and reduced standby power usage contribute to longer battery life and enhanced user experiences. By choosing UFS 2.1, consumers can enjoy the benefits of extended device usage, improved energy efficiency, and a more sustainable approach to technology.

  1. Power Consumption: When it comes to power consumption, UFS 2.1 has the edge over eMMC 5.1. UFS 2.1 flash memory is designed to operate efficiently, utilizing power-saving features and advanced algorithms that optimize energy usage. This translates to extended battery life, allowing users to enjoy their devices for longer durations without the need for frequent recharging.
  2. Active Power Management: UFS 2.1 incorporates advanced active power management techniques to dynamically adjust power consumption based on workload requirements. This means that the power consumption of UFS 2.1 can be tailored to the specific needs of the device at any given time. When the device is performing resource-intensive tasks, UFS 2.1 ramps up its power usage to deliver optimal performance. Conversely, during idle or low-demand periods, it reduces power consumption to conserve energy.
  3. Standby Power Consumption: In terms of standby power consumption, both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 exhibit low power usage when the device is in sleep mode or not actively performing any tasks. However, UFS 2.1 flash memory employs power-saving mechanisms that further minimize standby power consumption, ensuring efficient energy utilization even during periods of device inactivity.
  4. Impact on Battery Life: The power efficiency of flash memory directly impacts the battery life of electronic devices. With UFS 2.1, devices can experience noticeable improvements in battery performance. The reduced power consumption and active power management capabilities of UFS 2.1 allow devices to operate for extended periods without draining the battery excessively. This is particularly beneficial for smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices that require prolonged usage on a single charge.
  5. Real-World Benefits: The power efficiency of UFS 2.1 flash memory translates into tangible benefits for end-users. Longer battery life means less frequent charging, providing convenience and uninterrupted usage. It also enables users to enjoy power-hungry activities like gaming, multimedia playback, and data-intensive applications without worrying about the battery running out quickly. Additionally, the power efficiency of UFS 2.1 contributes to a greener and more sustainable environment by reducing energy consumption and minimizing electronic waste.

Storage Capacity

Both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 offer varying storage capacities to meet different device requirements. eMMC 5.1 typically provides storage options ranging from a few gigabytes to several tens of gigabytes. On the other hand, UFS 2.1 offers higher storage capacities, with devices commonly available in sizes starting from 32GB and going up to several terabytes for enterprise-grade storage solutions.

  1. Maximum Capacity: eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 offer different maximum storage capacities. eMMC 5.1 typically provides storage options ranging from 8GB to 256 GB. On the other hand, UFS 2.1 offers higher maximum capacities, often starting from 64GB and going up to several terabytes (TB). The increased maximum capacity of UFS 2.1 makes it suitable for devices that require extensive storage capabilities, such as high-end smartphones, tablets, and professional-grade devices.
  2. Flexibility and Scalability: UFS 2.1 flash memory technology offers greater flexibility and scalability when it comes to storage capacity. With the ability to support higher capacities, UFS 2.1 allows users to store a larger amount of data, including multimedia files, applications, and documents. This scalability ensures that devices can accommodate growing storage needs, whether it’s due to expanding media libraries, increased app sizes, or other data-intensive requirements.
  3. App Storage and Performance: The larger storage capacities offered by UFS 2.1 enable users to store a greater number of applications on their devices. This is particularly beneficial for users who heavily rely on apps for productivity, entertainment, and other purposes. Additionally, UFS 2.1’s faster read and write speeds contribute to improved app performance, ensuring smooth loading times and seamless user experiences even with large-sized applications.
  4. Multimedia Content: As multimedia content continues to dominate digital consumption, having ample storage capacity becomes crucial. UFS 2.1’s higher maximum capacities make it an ideal choice for storing large media files such as high-resolution photos, videos, and music collections. Users can enjoy capturing and storing high-quality media without worrying about running out of storage space.
  5. User Requirements: The choice between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 in terms of storage capacity depends on the specific needs and usage patterns of the user. For casual users who primarily use their devices for basic tasks like web browsing, social media, and light productivity, the storage capacity provided by eMMC 5.1 may be sufficient. However, for power users, professionals, and those with demanding storage requirements, UFS 2.1’s higher maximum capacities offer the flexibility and peace of mind to store a vast amount of data without constraints.

Durability and Reliability

When it comes to durability and reliability, UFS 2.1 flash memory has an advantage over eMMC 5.1. UFS 2.1 incorporates advanced error correction mechanisms, wear-leveling algorithms, and enhanced error detection and correction capabilities. These features contribute to improved data integrity and the prolonged lifespan of the flash memory, making it more reliable for long-term use.

  1. Durability: eMMC 5.1 flash memory is known for its robustness and durability. It is designed to withstand a wide range of environmental conditions, including temperature variations, shocks, and vibrations. This makes eMMC 5.1 a reliable choice for devices that are frequently exposed to challenging conditions, such as automotive applications or industrial settings. The durability of eMMC 5.1 ensures that data remains safe and accessible even in demanding environments.
  2. Wear Leveling and Endurance: Both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 utilize wear leveling techniques to distribute data evenly across the memory cells, extending the lifespan of the flash memory. However, UFS 2.1 flash memory takes wear leveling to the next level with advanced algorithms and mechanisms. This results in improved endurance and a longer lifespan for the memory cells. The enhanced wear leveling capabilities of UFS 2.1 make it well-suited for devices that experience heavy read and write operations, ensuring consistent performance and data integrity over time.
  3. Error Correction and Data Integrity: Data integrity is of utmost importance in flash memory. Both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 employ error correction algorithms to detect and correct data errors, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of stored information. However, UFS 2.1 incorporates more sophisticated error correction mechanisms, leading to higher levels of data integrity and reducing the likelihood of data corruption or loss. This makes UFS 2.1 a preferable choice for critical applications where data integrity is paramount.
  4. Lifespan: The lifespan of flash memory is measured in terms of program-erase cycles, which refers to the number of times data can be written and erased from the memory cells before they start to degrade. While eMMC 5.1 flash memory offers respectable lifespan capabilities, UFS 2.1 provides even greater endurance. With a higher number of program-erase cycles, UFS 2.1 ensures a prolonged lifespan, making it suitable for devices that undergo frequent and intensive data read and write operations.
  5. Real-World Performance: In real-world scenarios, both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 demonstrate reliable performance and durability. Users can expect consistent and stable operation from devices equipped with either technology. However, for applications that demand higher durability, endurance, and data integrity, UFS 2.1 emerges as the preferred choice due to its advanced wear leveling, error correction, and enhanced lifespan.

Durability and reliability are essential factors to consider when selecting flash memory technology. eMMC 5.1 offers robustness and can withstand challenging environmental conditions, making it suitable for specific applications. On the other hand, UFS 2.1 excels in wear leveling, endurance, error correction, and lifespan, ensuring consistent performance and data integrity over time. The choice between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 depends on the specific requirements of the device and the level of durability and reliability needed for the intended application.


eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory technologies differ in terms of their interface compatibility. eMMC 5.1 utilizes the eMMC interface, which is widely supported across a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and embedded systems. UFS 2.1, on the other hand, employs the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) interface, which offers higher data transfer speeds and improved performance. However, it is important to note that the UFS interface is relatively newer and may not be as widely supported across all device categories.

  1. Interface Compatibility: eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory technologies differ in terms of their interface compatibility. eMMC 5.1 utilizes the eMMC interface, which is widely supported across a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and embedded systems. UFS 2.1, on the other hand, employs the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) interface, which offers higher data transfer speeds and improved performance. However, it is important to note that the UFS interface is relatively newer and may not be as widely supported across all device categories.
  2. Backward Compatibility: Backward compatibility refers to the ability of a newer technology to work with older devices or systems. In this regard, eMMC 5.1 has an advantage over UFS 2.1. eMMC 5.1 flash memory is backward compatible with earlier versions of the eMMC standard, ensuring compatibility with devices that support older eMMC interfaces. This makes it a more versatile choice for devices that need to integrate with legacy systems or older hardware.
  3. Operating System Support: Another crucial aspect of compatibility is operating system support. Both eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 are compatible with popular operating systems such as Android and Windows. However, it is important to ensure that the specific device and its software support the chosen flash memory technology. Manufacturers and developers play a key role in providing the necessary drivers and support for the seamless integration of flash memory with the operating system.
  4. Device-Specific Compatibility: The compatibility of eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 can also vary depending on the device category and its specific requirements. Manufacturers often design their devices to be compatible with specific flash memory technologies, taking into account factors such as performance, power efficiency, and cost. It is essential to check the device specifications and consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure compatibility between the chosen flash memory technology and the intended device.
  5. Future Compatibility: Considering the rapid advancements in technology, future compatibility becomes an important consideration. While eMMC 5.1 has established compatibility across a wide range of devices, UFS 2.1 offers a more future-proof solution with its higher data transfer speeds and enhanced performance capabilities. As newer devices and technologies emerge, UFS 2.1 is likely to gain broader support and compatibility, making it a more future-ready choice for devices that require cutting-edge performance and capabilities.

Compatibility is a crucial factor when selecting flash memory technology. eMMC 5.1 offers wider interface compatibility and backward compatibility with older systems, making it suitable for devices that require versatility and integration with legacy hardware. On the other hand, UFS 2.1 provides higher performance and data transfer speeds, but its compatibility may be more limited to newer devices and systems. Understanding the specific compatibility requirements of the device and considering future compatibility needs will help in making an informed decision.

⑥ Cost

Cost is a significant factor to consider when choosing flash memory technology for electronic devices. The cost of the storage solution directly impacts the overall device cost and the feasibility of its implementation. In this section, we will explore the cost considerations associated with eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory technologies.

  1. Manufacturing Costs: The manufacturing costs of flash memory technology can vary depending on several factors. eMMC 5.1, being a more established technology, generally has lower manufacturing costs compared to UFS 2.1. The mature production processes and widespread adoption of eMMC 5.1 contribute to economies of scale, resulting in lower costs for manufacturers. On the other hand, UFS 2.1, being a newer and more advanced technology, may involve higher manufacturing costs due to factors such as newer manufacturing processes and the use of advanced components.
  2. Performance vs. Cost Trade-off: While eMMC 5.1 offers a cost-effective solution, UFS 2.1 provides higher performance capabilities. It is important to strike a balance between performance requirements and budget constraints. For applications that demand high-speed data transfer, multitasking capabilities, and seamless performance, the additional cost associated with UFS 2.1 may be justified. However, for budget-conscious projects or applications with less demanding performance requirements, eMMC 5.1 offers a cost-efficient option without compromising basic storage functionality.
  3. Device Cost Implications: The choice between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 can impact the overall cost of the device. UFS 2.1, with its advanced performance features, may contribute to a higher device cost due to the additional costs involved in integrating and supporting the technology. On the other hand, eMMC 5.1’s cost-effectiveness can help manufacturers develop more affordable devices, particularly in budget-oriented market segments or entry-level devices. Considering the target market, pricing strategy, and overall device budget, manufacturers can make an informed decision about the flash memory technology that aligns with their cost objectives.
  4. Long-Term Cost Considerations: Long-term cost considerations involve factors such as maintenance, upgrades, and the potential need for additional storage capacity. While eMMC 5.1 may offer a lower initial cost, UFS 2.1’s higher performance and scalability can provide long-term benefits. The advanced features of UFS 2.1, such as faster data transfer speeds and higher maximum capacities, can accommodate future needs without requiring immediate upgrades or replacements. This can result in cost savings over the device’s lifespan, as it reduces the need for costly storage expansions or device replacements in the future.
  5. Market Factors: Market factors such as supply and demand dynamics, competition, and technological advancements can influence the cost of flash memory technologies. As newer technologies emerge and gain wider adoption, the costs associated with them tend to decrease over time. Therefore, it is important to consider market trends, competitive pricing, and future developments in flash memory technology when evaluating the cost aspect.

Cost is a significant consideration when selecting flash memory technology. eMMC 5.1 offers a cost-effective solution with lower manufacturing costs and affordable device options. UFS 2.1, although potentially more expensive, provides higher performance and scalability, which can offer long-term cost savings. Balancing performance requirements, budget constraints, and long-term cost considerations will help manufacturers and users make an informed decision about the most suitable flash memory technology for their specific needs.

▮ For phones, flash memory affects app installation, file storage, and app opening speed

EMMC 5.1 was beaten by UFS 2.1. In an era of increasingly demanding mobile phone performance, UFS flash is indeed more suitable than eMMC flash for high-end mobile phones.

This gap is reflected in the actual use of UFS 2.1, which takes less time to install applications (especially large games and software) and is faster to open applications.

At the moment, intuitively, UFS and EMMC seem to be the same, because normal apps are usually less than 100 MB, but when you install big ones like games, you get a big feeling. And there is a big difference in file transfer speed.

For thousands of yuan machine, a lot of people will because of flash memory very worried not to buy, but EMMC is not bad, although uFS tyranny, it is insufficient, more than the next, than most OF the U disk reading and writing speed much faster, should say at least 4 years.

▮ Future Trends

As technology continues to evolve, the demand for faster and more efficient storage solutions will persist. Future trends indicate a gradual shift towards UFS 3. x and beyond, which offer even higher data transfer rates and advanced features like multi-lane configurations and improved power management. However, eMMC 5.1 will continue to serve as a reliable storage solution for devices that prioritize cost-efficiency and moderate performance requirements.

① Higher Capacities

One of the prominent future trends in flash memory technology is the continuous increase in storage capacities. As technology advances, manufacturers are striving to develop flash memory solutions with larger capacities to meet the growing demands of data-intensive applications. This trend allows for more extensive data storage and enables devices to handle larger files and multimedia content seamlessly.

② Faster Data Transfer Speeds

Another significant future trend is the pursuit of faster data transfer speeds in flash memory. As devices become more powerful and capable of handling larger data sets, there is a need for flash memory technologies that can keep up with the increasing data transfer demands. Manufacturers are working towards developing flash memory solutions with improved read and write speeds, enabling faster data access and enhanced overall device performance.

③ Enhanced Power Efficiency

Power efficiency is an area of continuous improvement in flash memory technology. As devices become more energy-conscious and battery life remains a critical factor, optimizing power efficiency in flash memory becomes essential. Future trends in flash memory aim to reduce power consumption during data read and write operations, extending battery life and enhancing the overall energy efficiency of electronic devices.

④ Advanced Error Correction

Ensuring data integrity and reliability is a constant focus in flash memory technology. Future trends indicate advancements in error correction techniques to address potential data corruption issues. Manufacturers are developing more sophisticated error correction algorithms and mechanisms to enhance the reliability of flash memory, minimizing the chances of data loss or corruption.

⑤ Integration with Emerging Technologies

Flash memory technology is expected to integrate with emerging technologies to unlock new possibilities. As technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and autonomous systems continue to advance, flash memory will play a crucial role in storing and retrieving the massive amounts of data required by these applications. The future of flash memory involves seamless integration with these technologies, providing high-speed data access and storage capabilities.

⑥ Security Enhancements

Data security is a growing concern in today’s digital landscape. Future trends in flash memory technology include enhanced security features to protect sensitive data. Manufacturers are incorporating advanced encryption algorithms and security protocols to safeguard stored information, ensuring that user data remains secure and protected from unauthorized access.

The future of flash memory technology is promising, with advancements aimed at higher capacities, faster data transfer speeds, improved power efficiency, enhanced error correction, integration with emerging technologies, and heightened data security. Staying informed about these future trends allows manufacturers and users to make informed decisions when selecting flash memory technology, ensuring that their devices are equipped with the latest advancements and are prepared to meet the evolving demands of the digital world.

▮ Conclusion

In conclusion, the difference between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory is significant in terms of performance, with UFS 2.1 offering faster read and write speeds and lower latency. Upgrading from eMMC 5.1 to UFS 2.1 can provide noticeable improvements in tasks like app loading, multitasking, file transfers, and gaming, while also potentially improving battery life. It’s important to note that eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 are not interchangeable, and devices that are designed to use one type of flash memory cannot be upgraded to use the other without significant hardware changes. As mobile technology continues to evolve, it’s likely that we will see more devices adopt UFS 2.1 and other advanced types of flash memory in the future.

▮ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the difference between eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory?

A1: eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 are both types of flash memory used in mobile devices, but UFS 2.1 is newer and faster than eMMC 5.1. UFS 2.1 offers faster read and write speeds, which translates to improved performance in tasks like app loading, file transfers, and gaming.

Q2: How do eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 differ in terms of performance?

A2: eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 differ in terms of performance in several ways. UFS 2.1 is faster than eMMC 5.1 in terms of both sequential and random read and write speeds. UFS 2.1 also has lower latency, which means that it can access data more quickly than eMMC 5.1.

Q3: What are the benefits of upgrading from eMMC 5.1 to UFS 2.1?

A3: Upgrading from eMMC 5.1 to UFS 2.1 can offer several benefits, including faster app loading times, improved multitasking performance, faster file transfers, and smoother gaming performance. Additionally, UFS 2.1 uses less power than eMMC 5.1, which can result in improved battery life.

Q4: Are eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 interchangeable?

A4: No, eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 are not interchangeable. They are different types of flash memory with different interfaces and protocols. Devices that are designed to use eMMC 5.1 cannot be upgraded to use UFS 2.1 without significant hardware changes.

Q5: Which devices use eMMC 5.1 and UFS 2.1 flash memory?

A5: eMMC 5.1 is commonly used in budget and mid-range smartphones, while UFS 2.1 is used in high-end smartphones and other mobile devices. Some examples of devices that use UFS 2.1 include the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S20, the OnePlus 7T and 8, and the Google Pixel 4.

DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

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