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Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Working Group Announces 1.0 Specification.

New Specification Will Help Accelerate the Adoption of NAND Flash Memory in the PC Platform

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- To further the adoption of NAND flash memory technology in the PC platform for an enhanced user experience, the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Working Group announced today the ratification and public availability of the NVMHCI 1.0 specification. The NVMHCI specification defines a standard software programming interface for non-volatile memory subsystems that enables broad adoption of NAND flash memory in the PC platform.

Led by Intel, Microsoft and Dell, the NVMHCI Working Group boasts more than 35 members. The interface can be used by operating system drivers to access NAND flash memory storage in applications such as hard drive caching and solid-state drives. For the user this means improved system performance, lower power consumption, quieter operation, smaller form factors and increased ruggedness.

The NVMHCI specification describes the register-level interface for platform non-volatile memory solutions. The specification includes a description of the hardware/software interface between system software and the host controller hardware and also describes the command set used with the platform non-volatile memory devices.

"NVMHCI is tailored to non-volatile memory specifically and will help provide industry momentum for NAND flash in PCs, such as our Intel[R] Centrino[R] mobile platform with Intel[R] Turbo Memory," said Rick Coulson, senior fellow and director of I/O Architecture at Intel. "We believe that NVMHCI, in combination with other technologies such as the high-speed NAND interface defined in ONFI 2.0, will usher in new levels of performance for NAND flash in PCs."

"By standardizing the software (OS and driver) interface to non-volatile memory, software developers can design their applications to take full advantage of non-volatile memory capabilities without compatibility concerns," said Bob Rinne, director of development for U.S. Device and Storage Technologies at Microsoft. "We are excited by the number of companies that have joined the NVMHCI Working Group to help standardize a common controller interface so more users can enjoy the benefits of non-volatile memory through features of the Microsoft [R] Windows Vista(TM) operating system."

"With the help of the growing NVMHCI membership, we think the new specification ensures a well-rounded definition that serves the needs of the industry," said Liam Quinn, director, IO Architecture at Dell. "We see the NVMHCI specification providing a platform for innovation. Software that takes advantage of standard NVMHCI hardware can exploit the benefits of non-volatile memory - performance, lower power consumption and quick access - across multiple PC platforms."

The streamlined interface to the non-volatile memory consists of eight commands in total. It includes features like dataset management that allows the operating system (OS) to provide information to the NVMHCI controller on how to best optimize data for performance and endurance. NVMHCI is designed to work with the standard Serial ATA programming interface (AHCI), which enables seamless caching of the hard drive contents into non-volatile memory by a single software driver.

About the NVMHCI Working Group

The Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Working Group was formed to provide a standard software programming interface for non-volatile memory subsystems. The interface can be used by operating system drivers to access NAND storage in applications like hard drive caching and solid-state drives. Chaired by Intel with core contributors including Dell[TM] and Microsoft[R], the NVMHCI Working Group has more than 35 member companies. Further information on the NVMHCI 1.0 specification can be found at www.intel.com/standards/nvmhci/index.htm. Further inquiries regarding NVMHCI can be directed to nvmhci@intel.com.

Intel, the Intel logo, and Intel Centrino are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 15, 2008
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