updated 10:20 am EST, Thu December 21, 2006
Apple rejects hybrid drive
Apple may be set to use Intel's Robsen technology in the next generations of its Mac systems, as Samsung has revealed that the Cupertino-based company decided against using its forthcoming hybrid flash drives in new Mac models. Intel's new on-board module -- codenamed Robsen -- uses NAND flash memory as a high-speed buffer between system memory and the hard drive, storing system boot files and the most often-used data. Robsen reads and writes information several times faster than a mechanical hard disk, and uses less power which promises to increase the battery life of portable notebooks. Samsung's 'FlashON' hard drives, conversely, integrate flash memory into the hard disk itself. Microsoft has said it will ship Windows Vista with 'ReadyDrive' capability, offering built-in operating system support for disk caching to NAND flash devices.
Robsen will likely result in faster startup, shutdown, standby, and resume times as well as increased application performance. Intel's initial Robsen mini-card modules will ship to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) with 256MB of storage for $20, with 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB capacities to follow.