eMMC Booting: Importance in modern era

  Aug 30, 2014 8:48:25 PM

In Modern era, end–user of mobile/portable/computing device use different operating system like Windows, Linux, Android with different processor based on their needs. They  want the computing device to be ultra-light weight and to be stable as well as very fast. Hence to fulfil their need, computing device manufacturers require non-volatile memory which has very fast interface speed, capable of storing data reliably, protected against any misuse or malware, has data safety,  easy to use and is having very high capacity. eMMC is one of the solution which has all the above functionality. This blog talks about usage and advantages of booting OS from eMMC card.

eMMC integrates  MMC components (flash memory plus controller) into a small ball grid array (BGA) package to be used in circuit boards as embedded non-volatile memory system. eMMC booting is a new way of booting operating system from MMC card. Earlier eMMC cards were considered to be slow devices hence device manufacturer were going with SATA hard disk. eMMC 5.0 has several new functionality with lot of enhancements and is able to have interface speed up to 400MB/s with improvement from 104 MB/s in v4.41 and 200 MB/s in v4.5. eMMC 5.0 has Field Firmware Update(FFU) feature which allow loading and installing of newer version or patch of the eMMC  device firmware while device is in operation. To save power, safer power mode transition to Sleep state via software is also possible. Additionally it will be possible to have various operating systems in MMC cards and then run whichever operating systems end-user wants to run.

Currently both ARM® core based SoCs manufacturers such as QualComm®, TI®, Freescale®, Samsung®, NVIDIA® and X86 based SoCs manufacturers such as Intel® and many others are integrating eMMC controller into their SoCs and give support for eMMC boot and data storage. End user can boot Windows, Linux, Android or any other operating system on any hardware platform including based on X86 and ARM processors.

Saken has excellent expertise in eMMC booting and using MMC card as storage device as well. Sasken is actively involved into development and support for eMMC booting and storage driver development.

Authored by Mukesh Kumar

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