What is eMMC storage for smartphones?

What is eMMC storage for smartphones? Well to answer that, we need to know what smartphone storage is.

Storage is a place where you keep stuff. All smartphones (and computers) require some sort of storage to hold important stuff. These important stuff could be critical to the proper functioning of your device.

The most important function of storage is that it holds the Operating System. Without the storage, your phone would not turn on as the Operating system would not boot the device.

There are three main types of flash storage for smartphones today. These are:

  1. eMMC
  2. eUFS
  3. NVMe

The first two are primarily used for Android phones whilst the third option is used for Apple’s iPhones.

This post will focus on eMMC storage.

Read: What is Flash Storage?

What is eMMC storage?

eMMC is a flash memory storage standard for smartphones and other consumer electronics. eMMC is short for embedded MultiMedia Card. The Multimedia card or MMC is a flash storage standard used on phones and SSDs.

eMMC storage is made using NAND flash and it was the primary storage option for smartphones till the UFS standard came along.

This storage type provides a low-cost flash memory system with a built-in memory controller. This memory controller allows the host SoC to interface with and control the flash storage. The controller also lifts some burden on the host system by handling error correction and fixing bad memory blocks/sectors.

eMMC flash appears to the host SoC as a bootable peripheral and it usually contains the operating system files that help a device come on.

eMMC versions


The eMMC standards are controlled by a body known as the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association. The website for this body is jedec.org. JEDEC has about 342 members which include big players like Qualcomm, Google, Apple, Facebook, ARM, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, HP, TSMC, LG, Synix, Westgate etc.

JEDEC is responsible for putting out the different eMMC versions, the latest of which is eMMC 5.1.


Whilst eMMC is vastly superior to older tech, especially hard disk drives and Floppies, it is very slow when compared to modern options. It also doesn’t allow for dual tasks due to its half-duplex structure.

As a result, you can only find eMMC storage on cheap and/or on really old phones.

eMMC has been replaced by the much newer and better UFS flash storage.

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