When a new Android device comes out, we spend a lot of time obsessing over which ARM chip it runs and how much RAM there is, but the storage speed often has a significant impact on performance too. Although, mobile flash storage controllers haven't been been improving at the same rate as other hardware. SanDisk hopes to fix that with the iNAND Extreme embedded storage platform, which offers three times the random write speed and twice the sequential read speed of current solutions.


When evaluating the responsiveness of flash memory, both sequential and random write/read speeds figure in. Sequential speeds have been edging upward reasonably well, but the random IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) are still stuck at a few hundred. That means storage tends to get sluggish when there's a lot going on or space is running low.

 New SanDisk iNAND Extreme

  • Built on the eMMC 5.0 HS400 specification
  • Sequential write/read speeds up to 80/300 MB/s; Random write/read speeds up to 3000/6000 IOPS
  • New dual CPU and dual channel hardware architecture
  • Unique software enhancements enable improved responsiveness and ensure performance consistency
  • Enhanced infrastructure support and tools help mobile manufacturers to improve handset and tablet time to market

Like most existing platforms, iNAND Extreme is a single-chip with the storage and controller built-in. This version of SanDisk iNAND could boost random IOPS from a few hundred to several thousand. The implementation of eMMC 5.0 includes a 400MB/s host interface with the device, but there are also dual 300MB/s internal channels connecting the controller and NAND. The extra horsepower in the eMMC is designed to help with garbage collection so the user sees less storage lag. A move to page mapped architecture is also partially responsible for the boost in overall speed.

SanDisk makes many of the eMMC/NAND packages used in Android devices, so this new version is likely to be adopted widely. The company is sampling 16, 32, and 64GB versions of the iNAND Extreme. It should begin finding its way into devices sometime in Q2 2014.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • Jephri

    My, that's some flashy memory.

  • supremekizzle

    I hate how many companies use a lower case 'i' in front of their products to capitalize off of Apple's success. iHome, iFire extinguisher, iBurrito. iFucking sick of it!

    • abobobilly


    • Cory_S

      I felt the same when apple renamed iPhone OS to iOS which is what Cisco hardware's OS is called.

      • Matthew Fry

        They're not known for using original names. They had to purchase the trademark for the name 'iPhone.'

    • Matthew Fry


    • https://plus.google.com/109766515409503371323/about -benjy

      I agree. The fire extinguisher companies are serial offenders when it comes to this. Long before they were trading on Apple's success, they tried to muscle in on Unix:


  • namesib

    Go SanDisk!

  • Thomas Su

    It's like a mini SSD... We could see this in laptops too...

  • Karan O

    samsung countdown to s5 :


  • robert wilson

    only up to 64GB? the speed is fine on the phone I have now. what we need is larger storage capacity.

    • abobobilly

      I believe "Speed" will provide a better user experience than the storage. Take it as "Quality over Quantity" thingy ... which can work wonders.

      Plus, we do have SDCards available, and having seen that 128GB SDXC by SanDisk in MWC2014 ... i think we are very safe (considering the expensive production of Flash Memory)

      • robert wilson

        128GB cards are fine if you have a microsd slot to put one in. unfortunately, it looks like only crappy Samsung devices will have them now.
        the quality is fine already. the only problem I've ever had with storage on any android device is not having enough of it and constantly having to uninstall apps and delete photos, music, and videos to make room for things.

        • abobobilly

          I don't disagree. But you can see the cost factor which comes into play. It can be argued that manufacturers can atleast give more onboard storage for a price and let consumers decide if they want to purchase or not ... because this i will wholeheartly agree with.

          Then again, flash storage isn't cheap even for PC hardware, so having it at a cheaper level for mobile phones will definitely take a while.

          For a reference, you could look at that (absurd) price of 128GB iPad ... whichever version it was.

        • namesib

          The only devices that are crappy are the ones without microSD slots.

        • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

          Sony seems to consistently put sd slots in their devices, which I'm pretty pumped about cause I don't want to be stuck with Samsung as the only option.

    • blahmoomoo

      I suppose that until they can get production costs down low enough, they have no reason to make 128 GB phone SSDs. If the price jump is significantly higher than the difference between 32 and 64, hardly any manufacturer would get it due to the fewer number of people willing to pay big bucks for the increase.

      I suppose Apple could be an exception, since they currently sell iPhones in three storage tiers (most Android devices seem to be only one or two), but apparently that was still out of reach for the 5S. The iPad (which does offer 128 GB) is different since they could either use a bigger chip or two chips for storage.

      Unless, of course, the actual reason is that they haven't yet made a 128 GB phone SSD possible yet. Could be that improving performance was an easier step to take first.

    • maybe

      Cant they just use two.

    • flosserelli

      And better power management.

  • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

    Fun (and annoying) to see how many people are abso-fucking-lutely WHINING about 64 GB and 128 GB. Seriously, what the fuck do you guys want? 1 TB? 50 TB? I bet, tomorrow if the company comes out with 50 TB, you'd still whine about wanting 259149519511 GAZILLION bytes.

    • Shitiz Garg

      And...? We've been at 16/32GB forever, I can't find a single 64GB phone except HTC One (external storage not counted), what the hell is wrong with wanting more storage? Especially when Google is hell bent on getting rid of external storage?

      • Francisco Franco

        No. One. Cares.

        Hey, have you met The Cloud?

        • Shitiz Garg

          Hey, have you met my data cap? Have you? HAVE YOU?

        • Eric Jones

          I personally don't care, as 32GB is way more than enough for me, but obviously people care because they keep posting about it. This may not be the place to post about it, but where is? Maybe hardware developers will see the surge of comments for more storage and answer.

      • Matthew Fry

        That was my first thought. If OEMs move to this chipset we'll be back to 16 or 32 and $50-100 price difference between the two. I'm all for higher speed IO interfaces but I haven't really thought, "This is taking forever to write (or read)" for many years but I have recently thought, "What do I remove to free up space?"

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        My point was about not being content. They will have 64 GB by the end of 2014, but then they'll whine about 128 GB. Then 256 GB. Multiplication by 2 never ends anything, nor does it solve the problem.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      Every other spec of smartphones has consistently improved over the years except this. There's no good reason for that especially since mobile data hasn't gotten cheaper.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Okay, this is nice. But when the hell am I going to see 64 and 128 GB storage options? I'm sick and tired of OEMs being cheap-ass scumbags and holding out on bigger storages at least for tablets

    • BtotheT

      Deerrp, they're making 128gb is a pro version, read around.... It won't be as fast as this extreme tho. They're also making 128gb microSd cards now, so 64 gb paired with one of those is enough.. I find it astonishing how many ppl whine reading 1 article while overlooking that the solution they want already exists. They announced the 1/2 as fast 128gb pro opitmized for bay trail near the end of last year.

      • BtotheT

        The thing is companies don't want the 128gb inands in devices yet cause then you'd be less likely to want an upgrade, also I'm not sure the industry trust sandisk to not have scaling flaws at that capacity, if you buy 10,000 faulty new to market models it's quite the risk. It's more likely to me they'll first test them in ultrabooks and chromebooks this year as not to risk smartphone market shares through faulty products jeopardizing loyal customer bases.

  • Ark

    >The company is sampling 16


    • BtotheT

      It's a new dual format, they are easing into it to reduce scaling flaws, Cope Newb, you'll get 128gb next march/april, or you can do the 128gb inand pro possibly this year.

  • Christopher Robert

    Make this thing 128GB and I'll give up my external SD card.

  • Android Developer

    How much faster is it compared to other commonly used cards ? or the internal storage of cell phones?

    • Francisco Franco

      Read the article.

      • Android Developer

        It doesn't say.
        I wish there was a benchmark test to show how well it performs.

        • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

          What @disqus_BCHR9xbDSf:disqus meant to say with "read the article" is that this IS talking about internal storage of a cellphone so your question does not apply.

          • Android Developer

            but i asked about how much it is compared to other storage components that are used these days, for example the internal storage of SGS4 or SGS5 (or any other device).
            i don't know why you think there is a contradiction here.

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            I misunderstood what you said then, my apologies. The way I read it you were asking how iNAND Extreme compared to "other commonly used cards", which made it sound like you thought the iNAND Extreme was an external SD Card instead of internal storage.

          • Android Developer

            but even if i did think that it's an external card, the question was how does it compare in terms of speed to other internal/external storage components.

          • BtotheT

            iNand is solely internal, To compare to microSD externals cards it's about 5/8ths faster than the 128gb models due out in the coming month or 7/16th faster than the quickest 64gb model.

          • Android Developer

            i see. thanks.

          • BtotheT

            A developer should know more than me, I feel bad for your employer.

          • Android Developer

            How does it have anything to do with my question?
            Also, a developer doesn't have to know so much about hardware.

          • BtotheT

            There aren't stpuid questions, just stupid people. Look stuff up, don't query others to do the work for you. It's 3-4times the speed of the sgs4s chip. Twice as fast as the 128gb inand pro optimized for bay trail from the end of last year. There, ya happy?

          • Android Developer

            happy about the data, but not about how it was written , inferring people are stupid for asking about a trivial thing that comes out of the title of the article.

            Which devices can support this new technology (and have this speed)?

          • BtotheT

            I'm guesstimating the Note 4 will have it for sure, and other Q3 production products from LG, Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi, and the like.

          • Android Developer

            What about the new devices that were shown on MWC (2014) ?

    • BtotheT

      About twice the speed of the other more recent chips. Why don't you
      Look into something insteaad of whining an article doesn't provide a comparison, type 'inand bay trail' and compare. Shhhhhhhhhh. Don't come away from an article saying what you are unaware of. Go 'wow 300mb, 80mb' that's gonna be killer. There are way too many no nothings commenting on this page. Waaaay 2 many.

      • Android Developer

        but the title says "Dramatically Faster" . how much faster ? faster than which components... ?
        I was expecting to see some comparison, since the title infers it should be faster...

  • Ismail Akram

    When I'm going to see in smartphones, want to see them as soon as possible.