Dell, Intel and Microsoft today announced the formation of the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) working group to develop a standard software programming interface for PC-based NAND flash memory.

The new initiative, which is chaired by Intel with Dell and Microsoft serving as “core contributors”, aims to create operating system drivers to access NAND flash memory in hard drives, motherboards, solid state disks and external devices. The three companies said that the NVMHCI will “complement” the  standardization work that is being done in the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) working group. ONFI currently has includes 55 members, including AMD, Hitachi GST, Intel, Micron, Nvidia, Qimonda and Seagate. 

Intel has an obvious interest in accelerating the adoption of PC-based NAND flash applications through its NAND joint venture with Micron and the recently announced Turbo Memory – a 1 GB on-board flash device that is integrated on Santa Rosa-platform notebook boards. Despite the fact that this technology is available and is supported through Windows Vista’s ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive features, NAND flash so far has not gained a whole lot of traction in the PC space. Especially Intel’s Turbo Memory, formerly called “Robson”, did not quite deliver on the high expectations it had set before its launch earlier this month.

The group said that it will be expanding its membership and it will be interesting to see, if AMD will be joining NVMHCI. AMD earlier this month said that it will be offering a technology similar to Intel’s Turbo Memory called Hyperflash in 2008 as part of its Puma mobile platform.

The NVMHCI expects to have a first specification available in the second half of this year.

Source: TgDaily

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