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Thursday, May 31, 2007
Dell, Intel And Microsoft Join Forces To Increase Adoption Of NAND Flash Memory In PC Platforms

Broad adoption of NAND flash memory technology in the PC platform received a boost with the formation of the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Working Group.

The NVMHCI Working Group is chaired by Intel with core contributors including Dell and Microsoft.

NVMHCI will provide a standard software programming interface for nonvolatile memory subsystems. The interface would be used by operating system drivers to access NAND flash memory storage in applications such as hard drive caching and solid-state drives.

"Several NAND solutions are coming on the scene to take advantage of the ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive features of the Windows Vista operating system," said Bob Rinne, general manager of Windows Hardware Ecosystem at Microsoft. "Standardizing on a common controller interface will enable more integrated operating system support of these solutions moving forward."

NVMHCI complements standardization work being done in the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) Working Group.

"We've got a performance-enhancing NAND-based product in the market with our new Intel Centrino mobile technology platform called Intel Turbo memory, and this newly formed working group will help make that and a number of other NAND-based solutions more prolific, faster," said Rick Coulson, senior fellow and director of I/O Architecture at Intel. "ONFI formed last year to standardize the interface between the Flash controller and the NAND itself, and standardizing the register level interface between the Flash controller and the operating system driver is the logical next step."

The group is expanding its membership to include other companies and expects to deliver the specification in the second half of 2007.

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