What is eMMC?

Many mobile devices and also some of our spo-comm Mini-PCs use eMMC as their storage. But what exactly is eMMC and what are the benefits of this storage media? We want to explain it to you in this article.

Where does eMMC come from?

eMMC was developed for the use as an internal data storage in mobile devices and was specified by the JEDEC.

The acronym eMMC stands for “embedded multimedia card” and it is based on the Flash standard, which we already explained in this article on our blog. The fundament for eMMC is the MMC storage card, that is also the predecessor of the SD card.  

By now, eMMC is often substituted with other technologies such as the Universal Flash Storage, since it has a much higher read-write rate. 

Benefits of eMMC

An eMMC package includes, next to the Flash storage, also a controller and the contacting in one single BGA package. What BGA, PGA and LGA stand for, we have summarized in this article. Due to the subsumption of these components on one board, the eMMC storage is much more space-saving and also cheaper than regular storage. 

Usage of eMMC

eMMC is mostly used in mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Since eMMC also integrates other peripheral devices in one package, it can directly be addressed as the storage. But also in Mini-PCs that are getting smaller and smaller, for instance our TEGRA or BOX N4100, the eMMC storage finds its place.

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6 May 2020 Array ( [id] => 514 [title] => What is Flash Memory? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => How is data stored in our smartphones? How do countless photos fit on a small SD card in the camera? With the same technology as for SSDs: the flash memory. We took a closer look at that. [description] =>

Flash memory is a non-volatile memory based on semiconductor chips. The exact name is Flash EEPROM because it was developed from EEPROM (which stands for Electrical Erasable and Programmable Read Only Memory). The storage of data is identical to EEPROM, however, it is read, written, deleted or reprogrammed block by block in data blocks of 4, 8 or 16 kilobytes.

Flash memory is characterized above all by its fast response times and high data transfer rates, which is why it is also suitable for high-performance applications such as video editing or 3D. It is also efficient, impact-resistant, compact and contains no moving parts. In contrast to RAM (Random Access Memory), the data in Flash is retained even after the power supply is switched off, which is why it is mainly used in SSDs, USB sticks, smartphones, cameras and memory cards.

Advantages of flash memories

  • Data is retained even without a power supply. As a result, the storage type also consumes less power and has less heat development than HDDs.
  • It works silently and has no problems with vibrations.
  • Inexpensive.
  • High reading and writing speed.

Disadvantages of flash memories

  • Wearout is higher and therefore Flash a limited number of write and erase processes.
  • The duration of data storage is also limited, which is why Flash is not suitable for archiving data.

We already explained the difference between HDDs and SSDs in a knowledge article. More about flash memory and a detailed explanation of how it works can be found at Explainthatstuff.com and in the TechTarget.com.

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know-how
What is Flash Memory?
How is data stored in our smartphones? How do countless photos fit on a small SD card in the camera? With the same technology as for SSDs: the flash memory. We took a closer look at that.
1 Apr 2020 Array ( [id] => 510 [title] => What is SoC? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => At the end of 2018 we launched our first ever one-chip-system, the TEGRA 2. Its special feature: It is based on a SoC-chip. What that is and which benefits this architecture has, we explain in this article. [description] =>

System-on-a-Chip

When the most important components, or even all the components of a system are combined on one single chip, it is called a system-on-a-chip. The most important part of such is the main processor, no matter if it’s an 8bit- or QuadCore-processor, the market serves everything you can imagine. Sometimes also other processors, for instance for graphics or for decoding and controlling audio data in smart phones, are soldered. The next piece is the RAM, which is integrated via one or more memory chips. All internal components are connected via the system bus (for transmitting data between CPU, RAM, Cache) and the peripheral bus (for USB amongst others). 

Application fields of SoC

SoCs are mostly used in the field of mobile devices and applications and in the control and automation technology (for instance in washing machines or the industrial automation).

Advantages of SoCs

Due to the special architecture, a system on a chip on one hand saves up an enormous amount of space, so that they can be used almost everywhere not matter how small a space is. On the other hand expenses can be saved. Furthermore, a system on a chip has a lower power consumption. 

Nvidia Tegra SoC has it all

As already mentioned, the TEGRA 2, which we released in 2018, is the first (and at the moment the only) system among all the spo-comm Mini-PCs that is SoC based. Or more precisely, it is based on an Nvidia SoC-chip. It integrates all that is needed for applications in the digital signage field: An 8GB RAM, a 32GB eMMC Flash, the namesake Nvidia Tegra X2 CPU, as well as a LAN- and WiFi-module. And everything fits into the housing with dimensions of only 160 x 132 x 51 mm (W x D x H). With the TEGRA 2 it is not only possible to play content in a resolution of 4K@60Hz on two display at once. Thanks to the 256 integrated CUDA cores, the TEGRA 2 is also capable of deep learning applications and for real time calculations and video processing in the automobile field.

##Configure your TEGRA 2!

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know-how
What is SoC?
At the end of 2018 we launched our first ever one-chip-system, the TEGRA 2. Its special feature: It is based on a SoC-chip. What that is and which benefits this architecture has, we explain in this article.
19 Nov 2019 Array ( [id] => 473 [title] => Industrial PCs part 2: Energy efficiency [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Did part 1 of our current knowledge series about the industrial PC convince you? Then let's move on to the next article! The second part of our blog series about the robust computing systems is about the energy-efficient design of the systems. Why that is so important you ask? We clarify. [description] =>

Energy-efficient industrial PCs are not only pleasant for ones purse

In part 1 of our blog series we talked about why metal housings are inevitable for industrial computers. We have learned that a robust shell is important for both ruggedness and heat build-in, combined with the waste heat of IPCs. The latter is a good reason and another important factor for the following property of industrial PCs: energy efficiency.
Therefore the reasons why IPCs should not consume vast amounts of energy are the following:

  1. Industrial PCs often run 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. The continuous operation of the computer is an essential distinguishing feature to the PC systems from the consumer league. If a computer uses less power, this will cost the operator less money. By the way, the industrial PC will also be more durable.

  2.  If a system is installed in a closed installation (such as cash dispensers, vehicles, or metering stations), it must be ensured that increased temperature development is due to waste heat released by the small computers that does not endanger the installation. But how can it be ensured that the systems only produces a minimum of heat? The key to low heat generation is the selection of so-called "low-power" hardware, that means PC components with low energy consumption. Using a processor (also: CPU) or a RAM bar with only a minimum of energy, in turn, less energy in the form of heat is released to the environment. Energy-efficient computers (in English: Low-Power Consumption) might at first sight only sound like a "nice to have". At second glance, this feature makes solid Mini-PCs to what they are.

Would you like to have an example? We have prepared something by chance:

Environmentally conscious and powerful: The BOX N4100

The passively cooled BOX N4100 is an ultra-compact industrial PC (also referred to as "Embedded-PC") with a volume of just 0.22 liters. Thanks to its dimensions of 115 x 76 x 25 millimeters, the IPC requires little space and fits into any small installation. But despite its tiny size, the Mini-PC is in no way inferior to its larger counterparts in terms of performance. Playing two times 3840 x 2160 pixels - say 4K - at a frequency of 60 Hertz is no problem for the small power package and makes it particularly interesting for digital signage applications. You may now think, "This is madness! It will certainly consume a lot of electricity". You could think so. In fact, the little power package consumes a maximum of 19 watts under full load. For comparison: Our KUMO IV already consumes 45 watts in the so-called "idle mode" (ie: sleep mode). In contrast, the BOX N4100 achieves maximum values ​​of 3 watts in idle mode. Overall this is an impressive cost-benefit ratio.

Any questions? Or are you looking for a suitable industrial PC? Our consultants will gladly assist you!

##Contact us!

Curious about industrial PCs? Click here for all industrial PCs from spo-comm:

##Explore our industrial PCs

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know-how
Industrial PCs part 2: Energy efficiency
Did part 1 of our current knowledge series about the industrial PC convince you? Then let's move on to the next article! The second part of our blog series about the robust computing systems is about the energy-efficient design of the systems. Why that is so important you ask? We clarify.