Despite of various demonstrations of how additional NAND flash cache can improve performance of modern computers and take advantage of Microsoft Windows Vista additional capabilities, mainboard makers are still reluctant to install appropriate hardware on their products.
Intel Turbo Memory (previously code-named Robson) technology allows Microsoft Windows Vista to pre-cache certain types of data and speed up its loading by using special NAND flash-based cache. The new operating system features an array of technologies, including SuperFetch, ReadyBoost, ReadyDrive, and ReadyBoot that can take advantage of the flash cache, which can also be located on a system’s hard disk drive.
But Intel Turbo Memory does not come for free. At this point makers of mainboards can either install a special Turbo Memory 1GB module for desktops, which costs $23, or install a special type of Intel’s I/O controllers and a flash memory chip. The latter option would cost motherboard makers considerably less: up to $3 for a south bridge and from $7 to $10 a 1GB flash chip or chips.
But even a tiny addition to a mainboard’s price in the current market conditions make motherboards makers upset and unenthusiastic about the success of the technology. According to a news-story at DigiTimes web-site, several motherboard makers think the performance boost from Turbo Memory is not obvious, and therefore they predict the technology will only attract high-end users in the desktop market. Perhaps, mainboard makers bet on hybrid disk drives, which also include flash cache.
Neither Intel, nor officials for mainboard makers commented on the news-story.