UFS | Universal Flash Storage

Universal Flash Storage (UFS) is a standard specification for flash memory cards and flash memory in embedded systems. UFS is considered to be the successor technology of eMMC and SD cards. UFS is optimized for high-performance non-volatile flash memories. This allows faster data access and speeds to be achieved and thus also meets the increasingly higher requirements of the mobile (smartphones, tablets, laptops), industrial (embedded systems), and automotive (connected cars) sectors. 


UFS Organisations 


UFS is supported by the major companies in the memory and chip industry and is led by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association working group. JEDEC is also working with the MIPI Alliance (Mobile Industry Processor Interface Alliance), because they are also responsible for the development of the MPHY and UniPro protocol.

M-PHY interface with the universal UniPro chip-to-chip protocol, which forms the basis of the UFS interconnect layer.


Interfaces UFS


To achieve high energy efficiency and performance in data transmission, UFS uses well-known interface standards for its interconnect layer:

  • M-PHY- specification
  • UniPro - specification

UniPro acts as a universal chip-to-chip protocol that provides a common channel for other protocols.


The M-PHY interface is the primary physical layer (PHY layer) for the UniPro specification and has a fast serial interface with up to 2.9 GBit/s per lane, which can be scaled up to 5.8 GBit/s per lane.


UFS Versions


UFS 1.0 1.1 2.0 2.1 3.0 3.1
Introduced 2011-02-24 2012-06-25 2013-09-18 2016-04-04 2018-01-30 2020-01-30
Bandwidth per lane 300 MB/s 300 MB/s 600 MB/s 600 MB/s 1450 MB/s 1450 MB/s
Max. number of lanes 1 1 2 2 2 2
Max. total bandwidth 300 MB/s 300 MB/s 1200 MB/s 1200 MB/s 2900 MB/s 2900 MB/s
M-PHY version ? ? 3.0 3.0 4.1 4.1
UniPro version ? ? 1.6 1.6 1.8 1.8




UFS Card 1.0 1.1 2.0
Introduced 2016 2018  
Bandwitdth per lane 600 MB/s 600 MB/s 1200 MB/s
Max. number of lanes 1 1 1
Max. total bandwidth 600 MB/s 600 MB/s 1200 MB/s
M-PHY version 3.0 3.0  
UniPro version 1.6 1.6  



Advantages UFS


UFS is ideal for devices that require high performance and low power consumption.

  • High performance (high data throughput)
  • Low power consumption
  • SCSI architecture model and thus command queuing functions to increase random read/write speeds

A high-speed serial interface targeting up to 2.9 gigabits per second (Gbps) with up-scalability to 5.8Gbps.

UFS offers low power consumption due to a low active power level and a near-zero idle power level.

Universal Flash Storage (UFS) uses the proven SCSI architecture model and command protocols that support multiple commands with command queuing capabilities, enabling multi-threaded programming. Current flash-based memory cards (SD/SDIO cards) and embedded flash solutions (emmc) only process one command at a time, reducing random read/write performance.




Tools for development

Protocol analyzers with which the data traffic can be streamed and decrypted can be used to design, test and debug memory designs.




SD/SDIO/eMMC Protocol Analyzer

The UFS Protocol Analyzer PGY-UFS is a protocol analyzer that offers numerous functions for log data acquisition and debugging of data across MPHY, UniPro and UFS protocol layers. The PGY-UFS4.X-PA, UFS Protocol Analyzer, enables the immediate decoding of UFS, UniPro and MPHY layers with the flexibility to correlate decoded data across these protocol layers.





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