Dell, Intel and Microsoft Join Forces to Increase Adoption of NAND-Based Flash Memory in PC Platforms
May 30, 2007
Newly formed group to provide standard interface for nonvolatile memory subsystems.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 30, 2007 — 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 Corporation with core contributors including Dell Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

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.”

Industry momentum for standardization in NAND storage solutions is building, especially as NAND moves into the PC platform. 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 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.”

“Nonvolatile memory solutions enable better system performance and lower power consumption as well as facilitate additional benefits such as smaller form factors, quieter systems and improved robustness,” said Liam Quinn, director of communications for technology strategy and architecture at Dell. “Dell looks forward to working with industry partners and extending the benefits NVMHCI will bring to our customers.”

The group is actively expanding its membership to include other industry-leading companies and expects to deliver the specification in the second half of 2007. Requests for the NVMHCI Contributor Adopter agreement can be directed to nvmhci@intel.com.

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value. Uniquely enabled by its direct business model, Dell is a leading global systems and services company and No. 34 on the Fortune 500. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

About Intel

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. For more information, visit www.intel.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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