Crestline, Robson, and Merom - Intel is bringing together a host of technologies for Santa Rosa, its next gen platform

Merom, Intel's next-generation is slated for release at the end of 2006. Interestingly, Yonah is still pretty young but the next-generation beyond Yonah is already well under way. What follows Merom's release however, is definitely interesting and in a very serious way, compliments the new architectures to enable such features as instant-on and instant-off. Intel is pushing these technologies as part of its Viiv platform, and while we will see a lot of the neat technologies appear on mobile systems first, plans are underway to bring the same technologies to the desktop.

After Intel's Napa paltform, Santa Rosa is next for Intel along with the release of Crestline, Intel's next-generation mobile chipset. Crestline will bring along new features that utilize NAND flash memory. Intel says the technology, called Robson, is incorporated with Crestline (as part of the Santa Rosa platform) and allows critical OS systems to be cached to the non volatile memory. This way, the NAND memory will be used as a boot drive and may be able to include common applications as well.

Intel demonstrated Robson using OS boot times and application loads. The demonstration took place on a NAND enabled system and one without, and in many cases the one with Robson showed 4 to 5 times the performance of a legacy system. For mobility users, Intel also says that using NAND flash technology, battery power will be preserved because there is a higher performance-per-watt ratio on a NAND-enabled system vs. a legacy HDD-only based system. Intel also recently invested heavily into Micron, to create a new joint venture on producing NAND flash memory and NAND based products.

According to Intel, Robson-enabled notebooks and desktops will start to see the light in early 2007. While Crestline, and Merom will not be launching all together, Intel promises a culmination of all the above technologies in Santa Rosa.

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