Sandisk inand extreme: Finally a Good eMMC Solution for Mobile?

Finally a Good eMMC Solution for Mobile?

by Anand Lal Shimpion February 24, 2014 12:00 AM EST

  • Posted in
  • Storage
  • Smartphones
  • SanDisk
  • Mobile
  • Tablets
  • iNAND Extreme



For the past couple of years we’ve been focusing more on tracking storage performance within smartphones and tablets. For the most part, we’ve come away disappointed. With smartphone ASPs trending downwards and many OEMs (other than Apple/Samsung) struggling to build healthy margins, internal storage is often leveraged as a high margin upsell and a cost optimized piece of the puzzle at the same time.

Sequential read/write performance has scaled reasonably well recently but random IO performance, particularly random write performance on a nearly full drive is very disappointing. With most devices incapable of more than a couple hundred random write IOPS, my recommendation to anyone has been to keep as much free space on your mobile device as possible in order to keep it feeling responsive. At MWC this week, SanDisk is offering another solution: a substantial step forward in high-end mobile eMMC performance.

Constrained by physical space limitations, smartphones and tablets typically leverage an integrated controller + NAND solution for storage. In some cases, a big silicon player may have an SSD controller on their applications processor and simply connect it to dumb, external NAND (e.g. the Apple approach). A lot of the time we just see a single-chip eMMC solution that integrates an eMMC controller and NAND.

SanDisk is a popular provider of these highly integrated mobile solutions, and is announcing the latest update to its iNAND Extreme family.

We’re once again talking about a single-chip eMMC+NAND solution, but one that’s much faster than previous incarnations. All implementations use SanDisk’s own 1Y nm 2-bit-per-cell MLC NAND. In the new iNAND Extreme, SanDisk moves to a dual-CPU (one core for host operations and one for NAND management), dual-channel design. Multiple cores are common in high-end SSD controllers, so it’s good to see mobile focused designs maturing to the same point.

The new iNAND Extreme implements eMMC 5.0 with a 400MB/s host interface. Internal to the design however are two 300MB/s channels connecting the controller and NAND. The bandwidth mismatch is designed to allow the device to work quicker internally to hide garbage collection and other cleanup latencies from the end user.

The old iNAND Extreme, much like most of the other eMMC solutions on the market today, was designed with a block based mapping architecture optimized for high sequential performance but low random IO performance. With the new iNAND Extreme, SanDisk moves to a page mapped architecture that has a significant impact on random IO performance as you can see in the table below. SanDisk does a pretty good job of dirtying its drives before running performance tests. Each drive is filled multiple times and around 10% of the drive is kept clean to simulate a heavy, real world use case. If SanDisk’s testing description is indeed accurate, then the numbers below should be representative of what you’d experience on your phone/tablet:

SanDisk iNAND Extreme 2014 Update




Random Read Performance



Random Write Performance



Sequential Read Performance



Sequential Write Performance



The new iNAND Extreme uses 64Gbit MLC NAND die and at launch will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants. SanDisk will eventually follow up with a 128GB variant with a whopping 16 NAND die on a single package.

Although the new iNAND Extreme has two NAND channels, it’s possible to interleave requests to multiple die on each channel and thus we see a benefit to having more than 1 die per channel. Sequential read speeds are absolutely phenominal on the new iNAND Extreme. At 300MB/s we’re not far off where full blown SATA SSDs were just a couple of years ago. Sequential write speeds have improved tremendously as well. At 80MB/s for the 32/64GB drive, we’re talking about multiple times faster writes than what we see in leading phones/tablets today.

The big win is in the random IO performance. SanDisk tests with 4KB transfer sizes and at 3K IOPS we’re talking about around 12MB/s of random write performance. While steady state random write performance on many eMMC solutions in use today isn’t much better than a high end 3.5″ hard drive, the new iNAND Extreme should manage to deliver an order of magnitude better performance. Random read performance is also great.

I’ve seen SanDisk’s iNAND solutions used in Chromebooks before. It’s not clear to me what’s kept it out of a lot of the phones we typically review. I am also very curious about the power consumption, but SanDisk is aiming for everything from high end smartphones and tablets to notebooks with the iNAND Extreme so it had better be fairly low power.

Needless to say I’m extremely excited to see an eMMC solution offer this level of performance. We’ve seen tremendous progress on CPU, GPU and connectivity fronts in mobile over the past few years, it’s about time we saw the same with storage.




SanDisk iNAND Extreme SDIN8CE4-128G, SDIN8DE4-16G, SDIN9DW4-16G – UK OEM distributor

iNAND Extreme Embedded Flash Drives (EFDs) significantly improve multimedia synchronization speeds, file-transfer rates, and operating-system responsiveness for smooth, rich multimedia play and fast application loading—enhancing end-user experience.

Ask a question about this product

Manufacturer SanDisk

A small, power-efficient flash drive, iNAND Extreme provides up to 128GB (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes). Actual user capacity less. of storage and fast read/write speeds. iNAND Extreme is built on SanDisk’s 19 nanometer (nm) process technology, the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing process, and is designed for use in next-generation tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.

Benefits include:

  • Excellent user experience
  • Fast synchronization
  • Highly responsive multitasking
  • Overview
  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Warranty
  • Part Numbers


Intelligent Flash Memory
iNAND EFD utilizes intelligent flash memory technology that not only offers the capacity to store digital content, but also meets even stricter high sequential and random performance requirements to ensure a strong user experience — enabling quick application launching, seamless multi-tasking, imaging needs and quick access to the cloud.

Increased Responsiveness
iNAND ExtremeEFDs use highly advanced caching technology that increases system responsiveness and burst performance for faster application loading, web browsing, and multitasking.

Next-Generation Video Performance
Fast sequential performance is essential when capturing high resolution and 3D**HD (1280 x 780) and 3D video support may vary based on host device, file size, resolution, compression, bit rate and other factors video content or when transferring large files to and from a mobile device. High-performance embedded flash storage can significantly improve multimedia synchronization speeds, file-transfer rates, and operating system responsiveness.

More Compact, More Mobile
iNAND Extreme’s versatile, space-efficient form factors make slim and portable mobile, tablet, and consumer electronics designs possible. Smaller EFDs mean more space for batteries, cameras, and memory—as well as design innovation. iNAND Extreme is available in highly compact JEDEC e.MMC-compliant packages, packing up to 128GB**1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Actual user capacity less. of memory in a 12mm by 16mm form factor with heights as low as 1.0mm.


  • NTFS & WLK optimization
  • Burst handling
  • High-priority interrupt
  • Packed command
  • Sequential cache
  • Managed physical partitions
  • Customizable attributes
  • Advanced power-failure features


  • Capacities 8GB-128GB**1 gigabyte-1 billion bytes. Some capacity not available for data storage.
  • Interface: e.MMC 4.51 HS200
  • Sequential W/R: Up to 45/150 MB/s**SanDisk proprietary test environment; measured with a chunk size of 4KB and address range of 100MB.
  • Random W/R: Up to 800/4K IOPS**SanDisk proprietary test environment; measured with a bus width of 8 bit at 200 MHz, chunk size of 512KB, and data transfer of 1GB.
  • Packaging


1 year warranty for Americas, Japan, PacRim
2 year warranty for EMEA

Part Numbers

Ordering Information (for all regions)

Part Numbers









SDIN8DE4-16G,VFBGA,11.5×13,Generic e.MMC 4.51 + HS200

SDIN8DE4-32G,VFBGA,11.5×13,Generic e.MMC 4.51 + HS200

SDIN8DE4-64G,VFBGA,11.5×13,Generic e.MMC 4.51 + HS200

SDIN8CE4-128G,VFBGA,12×16,Generic e.MMC 4.51 + HS200

SDIN9DW4-16G,Whale,2D,153FBGA 11.5x13x1 e.MMC 5.0 1ynm

SDIN9DW4-32G,Whale,4D,153FBGA 11.5x13x1 e.MMC 5.0 1ynm

SDIN9DW4-64G,Whale,8D,153FBGA 11. 5x13x1. e.MMC 5.0 1ynm


Both of these types provide better grip than conventional discs, better heat dissipation and more effective braking on wet road surfaces. To better understand the features of each type, we compared Xtra Brembo (perforated) and Brembo Max (serrated) discs on 5 characteristics: performance, aesthetics, heat dissipation, crack resistance and additional functionality.

Here are 5 main differences.


Both discs have an original appearance, fundamentally different from a conventional disc with a smooth surface. The perforated disc is instantly recognizable due to its feature — the holes. A notched disc, unlike a regular one, has «antennae», which are surface grooves (slits). The perforated disc is arguably more aggressive and sporty than its moustache counterpart. However, speaking about aesthetics, we are subjective. Everyone chooses what he likes. nine0004

2) Heat Dissipation

Both the perforations and serrations have been designed to increase heat dissipation compared to standard discs. However, the heat dissipation of perforated discs during braking is higher than the guaranteed heat dissipation of notched discs.

​You might also be interested in:

​If you are a keen motorist who alternates between normal road driving and sporty driving, you have probably considered replacing the standard brake discs with perforated ones. Replacing brake discs is actually the first and easiest step in upgrading your brake system, allowing you to increase braking performance in all conditions.

3) Crack resistance

For all types of brake discs, especially those with a machined braking surface, such as perforated and slotted discs, Brembo provides numerous tests on the bench and on the road, ensuring, thus fulfilling the requirements for performance and thermomechanical strength of the brake system in a wide variety of operating conditions. This prevents the risk of cracking in both perforated and notched discs. However, when used in extreme conditions such as racing, a slotted disc shows higher mechanical strength than a perforated disc. nine0004

4) Wear

The Brembo Max notched discs allow the user to assess the degree of wear by the notches: when one of them is no longer visible, the disc should be replaced as it is out of specification and no longer meets the requirements of the original product. Perforated discs, however, do not allow you to distinguish a new disc from a worn one in this way.

​5) Performance

Compared to a standard disc, both perforated and notched discs from the very beginning of braking provide better grip and quick response of the brake system. Thanks to the surface irregularities created by holes and notches, both discs «clean» the pads during braking, renewing the friction material. Both help avoid water build-up when driving in the rain and provide gas dissipation (prevent loss of performance) during extreme braking. The performance differences between the two solutions are thus minimal, and the benefits in use are nearly identical.

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“Perforated disc” — this name alone is not enough. Many of the potential buyers of perforated discs think they are all the same. In fact, there are discs made to meet all possible requirements and those that are stamped rather carelessly. The latter not only lack the advantages of perforation, but are sometimes dangerous.

What we learn from this comparison:

Both Xtra Brembo and Brembo Max disc types are excellent solutions for those who want to drive sportily without compromising the durability of discs and pads and without sacrificing comfort. The differences are mainly aesthetic and practical. Xtra Brembo wheels are more suitable for those who care about aesthetics, since for most tuning fans a perforated wheel is synonymous with sportiness.

Brembo Max discs, on the other hand, might be suitable for those who prefer substance to form: being more resistant to cracking — a quality that, however, only becomes important in extreme conditions such as competitions — they also have a wonderful feature that allows you to determine when to produce their replacement. Performance differences are almost non-existent, especially given the fact that they are meant for, yes, sporty driving, but still on the road. On the race track, of course, other products made specifically for the competition are used.

Conclusion: the choice seems to be purely subjective, all the elements are known to you and … the decision is up to you.

Choose among all Brembo products available for your car and find out where you can buy them.
Ask your mechanic or parts dealer, or find your nearest Brembo dealer,

clicking here .


Initial enthusiasm after buying a perforated disc at a low price can turn into anger after a few weeks because the brake system no longer meets safety requirements. To avoid this situation, you should not make five mistakes.

Turning a purchased smooth disc into a perforated one with your own hands or with someone else’s help, simply by drilling holes, is the biggest and most dangerous mistake imaginable.

This is a highly complex disc design modification that requires testing and control to ensure the safety of the product. If we consider this situation in a legal aspect, it should be mentioned that the modified disk loses its warranty and certification for use on the road.

You might also be interested in:

If you are a keen motorist who alternates between normal road driving and sporty driving, you have probably considered replacing the standard brake discs with perforated ones. Replacing brake discs is actually the first and easiest step in upgrading your brake system, allowing you to increase braking performance in all conditions. nine0004

2) Are all perforated discs equal? The number, size and location of the holes not only determine the characteristics of the brake system, but also affect the safety of its operation.

Disc holes
Brembo Xtra is shaped and positioned to increase performance without sacrificing thermomechanical stability.

3) Underestimating the Role of Testing

Some discs are rigorously tested to evaluate performance and durability before they go on the market. Others only test performance. But there are some that are not tested at all.

Working with the most prestigious automotive manufacturers and top racing teams, Brembo knows what performance discs must have when using braking systems in extreme conditions.

Before launching discs
Brembo Xtra, the company has carried out bench and road tests to verify compliance with the most stringent requirements of its own specifications, as well as compliance with the performance of the vehicles for which they are intended.

4) Underestimating the quality of materials and ventilation

The perforated disc replaces the smooth surface disc, which must meet the fundamental technical requirements of the brake system.

Materials, type of ventilation, dimensional and shape tolerances must be as specified by the original system manufacturer. In order to improve the resistance to thermal cracking and cooling of the braking system,
Brembo has occasionally developed new materials and ventilation systems for the Xtra series. Why? But because a sports disc should be something more than holes that make it look more attractive.

5) Ignoring pads

Pads are fundamental to the performance, comfort and durability of a braking system.

And when they are paired with more advanced discs, their qualities are enhanced.

We always recommend using compounds selected by the sports disc manufacturer for the pads. It is good practice to follow the disk manufacturer’s recommendations.

Brembo Xtra have been designed and tested for maximum performance, which is easier to achieve when they are used with Brembo brake pads.

Choose among all Brembo products available for your car and find out where you can buy them.

Ask your mechanic or parts dealer, or find your nearest Brembo dealer,

nine0095 clicking here .