At the Intel developer forum this past spring, Intel
announced that the company would include 1GB of flash memory integrated into
its upcoming mobile chipsets. The technology, dubbed Robson, is part of
the Santa Rosa Centrino platform, expected to launch in the second
quarter of 2007.
This inclusion of 1GB of NAND memory is actually the first phase of
Robson. Soon after launch, vendors will also have the option to include
512MB instead of 1GB modules, as a cost-down alternative. Both the 1GB and
512MB modules are integrated into the Crestline chipset that makes up
the core of the Santa Rosa platform.
Windows Vista is heavily reliant on the ability to use flash memory to cache files with
Superfetch. Rather than reading files off the hard drive, Superfetch
occasionally writes the files to an available NAND device. Vista will
then pool the NAND device for the files, rather than power-up the hard
drive. Since the flash memory is integrated right onto the motherboard,
the system can read the memory considerably faster than the hard drive while
getting a nice power-saving benefit as well.
Intel is also planning a desktop version of Robson, currently dubbed Snowgrass.
NAND and hybrid technology are currently slated as a
requirement for Windows Vista Premium logo certification in 2007. This NAND requirement can be fullfilled by hybrid solid state storage drives, but technologies like Robson will also fullfill the requirement.