Companies including Dell, Microsoft, and Intel announced on May 30 the formation of a new group to promote the adoption of nonvolatile memory, or NAND flash, in PC storage applications.
The NVMHCI (Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface) Working Group, as its being called, will be chaired by Intel and will provide a standard software programming interface for nonvolatile memory subsystems.
The group says the interface will be used by operating system drivers to access NAND flash memory storage in the applications such as hard drive caching and solid-state drives.
Today, PCs already use this technology; “ReadyBoost” is what Microsoft calls its Vista disk caching technology that makes computers running the OS more responsive by using flash memory on a USB 2.0 drive, SD card or other form of flash memory.
There are two main types of flash memory today, NAND and NOR gate chips. The former was developed by Toshiba a year after Intel debuted its NOR flash.
NOR is typically used for code storage inside of cell phones and other devices, while NAND flash is used to store data inside of MP3 players and other devices.