Intel has moved to improve the performance of storage sub-systems "significantly" with its release yesterday of the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) v0.95 specification.
The specifcation uses advanced features within the high-speed Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) storage interconnect standard.
AHCI provides a standard interface to system driver/OS software for discovering and implementing Serial ATA features such as command queuing, hot plug and power management.
The company said the v0.95 specification would enable production of AHCI Serial ATA discrete host controllers that could hit the market by the end of 2003.
Serial ATA, which can provide interconnect speeds of 1.5Gbps, replaces the older Parallel ATA systems. It is used to connect internal storage devices such as hard disks, DVDs and CD-R/Ws to the motherboard in desktop and mobile PCs, low servers and networked storage devices.
"The development of AHCI has strong industry momentum," said Thomas Loza, Intel technology initiatives manager.
"We believe this is a significant step in enabling the enhanced benefits of the Serial ATA extensions."
AHCI is developed by an industry group chaired by Intel. The AHCI Contributor Group, also announced yesterday, consists of AMD, Dell, Marvell, Maxtor, Microsoft, Red Hat, Seagate and StorageGear in addition to Intel.
The final specification is expected to be released in early 2004.
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