Intel will deliver Robson technology on a mini PCI Express card, which will contain the flash memory chips and their controller, see Figure 5. The presentation was based on a 1 GB solution and the current memory controller used can handle up to 8 GB of NAND flash memory.

Robson TechnologyFigure 5: Robson disk cache card.

Intel will sell this card to notebook manufacturers already assembled or in the form of a kit to be assembled by the manufacturer. Another option for notebook manufacturers is to assemble Robson technology components on the notebook’s motherboard.

If you pay close attention in Figure 5 you will see that the flash memory chips used are from Intel, and according to them at least initially they won’t allow notebook manufacturers to implement Robson technology to be used with memory chips from other vendors.

A simple block diagram of Robson technology can be seen in Figure 6.

Robson TechnologyFigure 6: Robson technology architecture overview.

It is compatible with both ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive technologies that will be available on Windows Vista.

ReadyBoost (formerly known as EMD, External Memory Device) is a feature implemented on Windows Vista that allows users to use any piece of flash memory like memory cards and USB drives as a memory cache.

ReadyDrive, on the other hand, is the command set used by Windows Vista to handle non-volatile memories. This technology is also known as PITON or T13.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.