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Dell Inc., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced this week formation of the so-called non-volatile memory host controller interface (NVMHCI) Working Group, which will allow independent software vendors to better use flash memory found inside modern systems that feature Intel Turbo Memory technology or hybrid hard disk drives.

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.

All three companies will benefit from popularization of flash caches for hard disk drives, as Intel makes NAND memory, Dell needs PCs that would function better than competing products and Microsoft needs to push sales of its new operating system.

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

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.

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