NONFI & NVMHCI : The Future Of Flash Storage

Recent IDF attendees might have overlooked such acronyms as ONFI and NVMHCI, but these two acronyms could very well be the future of flash based storage and possibly even a look at the future of Intel Robson-like technologies.

So what exactly are these acronyms, and how are they planning on changing the PC landscape?

“It [NONFI] is a part of an initiative to optimise the flash memory integration and performance in the PCs, starting with NVMHCI "Non Volatile Mem Host Controller Interface" akin to SATA AHCI.

NVMHCI is a standard programming interface for multiplatform OS support for flash as native storage at low level, enabling a single driver for both hard disks and flask memory. It can be used to support both the cache-like flash drive supplements like ReadyBoost or ReadyDrive, and full SSD storage devices.”

Current plans are for NONFI include three generations of products starting with a 133 MB/s part and ending up at 400 MB/s.  That's pretty fast compared to today's hard disks, and even faster when compared to all but the very fastest of consumer-level SSDs.

NONFI based technologies could possibly end up in a special DRAM-like socket near the south bridge on a motherboard near you sometime in late '08 as long as NVMHCI gains acceptance.