Intel is just months away from releasing Core 2 Duo processors
for its mobile platform, but it is already showcasing mobile technology which
won’t ship until the first quarter of 2007. When the upcoming Merom processor is refreshed next year,
it will also debut with a new chipset, Crestline.
With Crestline comes Robson technology. As DailyTech has discussed in previous articles,
notebooks featuring Robson technology will have varying amounts of non-volatile
NAND flash memory on the motherboard to help speed along the usual mundane
operations in Windows Vista.
Intel displayed two Dell laptops at its booth running an Adobe Photoshop
script: one with Robson technology
and one without. Unfortunately for DailyTech,
at the moment we decided to play around with the demo machines on Thursday, the
laptop with Robson technology failed
to complete the tests after much prodding by us. The laptop without Robson technology, on the other hand was
able to complete the demo without incident. It likely wasn’t a hardware issue,
but more likely a software related issue caused by an overzealous Computex
attendee deleting a file or two necessary to run the demo from the Windows
So even though we weren’t able to see the performance
benefits first-hand, we are optimistic that the performance benefits will be
quite appreciable once the technology hits store shelves. The built-in cache
will allow notebooks to access system files faster and save power at the same
time. What is not known though at this point is how the technology will
complement notebooks with hybrid hard drives.
Hybrid hard drives, like the one recently announced by Seagate, also place a stash
of non-volatile NAND flash memory onboard to help with system performance in Windows Vista.
It’s interesting that all of these solutions with
non-volatile NAND flash memory are starting to appear around the same time. Not
only do we have Robson and hybrid
disk/NAND drives, but we also have drives like Samsung’s 32GB Flash-SSD
and PQI’s 64GB
Flash-SSD drives. NAND flash memory makers must be very happy indeed over
what will transpire for the next few years as far as sales are concerned.