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AMD readies HyperFlash cache tech

To be built into SB700 Southbridge

Intelligent flash storage arrays

AMD's 'Puma' laptop platform, due to debut next year with the 'Griffin' processor and the M780 chipset, will incorporate the chip maker's alternative to Intel's TurboMemory Flash cache technology, as expected.

AMD's M780 chipset incorporates the company's own SB700 Southbridge chip. The SB700 will feature what AMD calls HyperFlash, a native link to a bank of Flash storage that can be used by Windows Vista and other operating systems to store frequently needed data to save the system from going to the hard drive for it.

The upshot: data loads more quickly and less power is consumed in doing so.

Intel announced its plan to support Flash caches last year and recently shipped its Turbo Memory module, a 512KB or 1GB PCI add-in card, which is an optional part of the 'Santa Rosa' Centrino platform and future desktop chipsets.

HyperFlash feeds straight into the SB700 rather than going via the PCI bus - an advantage, claimed AMD Fellow Maurice Steinman, becuase it keeps the PCI bus free for other add-ins, such as wireless cards.

However, he did admit that the link between the cache and the SB700 is proprietary. But he said the details of the connection have been provided to a number of Flash chip makers - including, we guess, Flash-making AMD spin-off Spansion - to ensure laptop vendors have a choice of suppliers.

He would not be drawn on whether AMD will in due course support the Intel, Hynix, Micron and Sony-backed Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) initiative, charged with eliminating proprietary links to Flash memory chips.

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