Your next notebook will pack a little extra memory

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.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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