Intel demos NAND flash memory laptops

“Intel will put NAND flash chips into notebook PCs beginning next year. The Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker said Tuesday that the NAND flash feature in its forthcoming notebook platform, dubbed Santa Rosa, would offer the main benefit of decreasing the time it takes to turn on a PC,” Alexei Oreskovic reports for “‘We need to have devices that boot up very rapidly,’ Sean Maloney, the head of Intel’s mobility group, said at the Intel Developer Forum taking place here this week. ‘The same way you come off a plane and get a cell phone signal immediately.'”

“The news comes roughly three months after Intel announced that it was forming a joint venture with Micron to produce NAND flash chips. The joint venture’s first announced customer was Apple, which will purchase $500 million worth of NAND chips to go into its iPod players,” Oreskovic reports. “At some point, [Maloney] said, there is the potential of running a PC’s entire operating system from NAND instead of from the hard drive, where it currently resides.”

Full article here.

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Related article:
RUMOR: Apple to employ Intel’s ‘Robson’ NAND flash tech to create ‘instant-on’ Macs – November 22, 2005


  1. Admittedly, my mobile is a few years old and I only have it for emergencies but it takes a fair few seconds to turn on. Don’t the new Mac’s boot in something like 30 seconds? I only see them getting faster with increased specs, software updates etc, add this into the mix and they’d surely be on before you pressed the button or something?

  2. I must be one of the very few people who actually turns their cell phone completely off during a plane flight (not just put it on silent).

    On a recent trip to LA it took my Nokia 6600 well over a minute to start up, acquire T-mobile service and make ready for use.

    My current 1GHz G4 laptop (10.3.9) starts up from cold in about a minute.

    I hope Nand-based laptops offer better performance than my cell phone.

  3. There were some models of Atari ST computers that had the entire OS in ROM chips. It booted in 5-10 seconds. It was a major pain in the ass when you needed to update your OS though, you needed to take it to a dealer to have them install a new ROM chip.

    NAND flash memory is ideal because it accomplishes the same thing, but is writable, so updates can be downloaded and applied as they are now on disk.

  4. Hard drives need to go bye bye, you wouldn’t beleive how much faster Mac OS X performs with a RAID O pair of Raptors (or in the Quad only RaptorX’s) as a boot drive combined with enough RAM. (no drive based bottlenecks)

    It’s like about everything just snaps open instantly.

    What will most likely happen though is some sort of software based bottleneck will have to be employed with NAND computers.

    Or else the desire to upgrade will be less.

    Now as you all know Intel has been losing money (and market share) these last three quarters, with all these announcements of Intel created computers has got me a little worried.

    Is Intel going into the PC buisness?

    That’s got to shake up old Micheal Dell

  5. This is a great idea, when I first heard about Apple buying all that memory I thought they would introduce this.

    Heidi, you don’t need all of OS X on the memory, just the stuff that is accessed most often.

  6. I never turn my powerbook off, just put it to sleep and it wakes in about 3 seconds.

    btw what is the read/write speed of flash? if the nano and shuffle is anything close to it, it’s about 6-7Mbytes/sec which is way too slow! If this is the case then i guess they’d have to put them in in parallell.

  7. I think this will help PCs more than Macs. PC laptops that a very long time to get cranked up. I had a friend turn his on an after a few minutes I asked if something was wrong. She said no it always take this long.

  8. “there is the potential of running a PC’s entire operating system from NAND instead of from the hard drive, where it currently resides.”

    Yes, but by then the system will be four times larger. That’s not a bad thing, it will be able to do more, they will just have to figure out what part of the system will be on the NAND chips and what part can be safely tucked away on the hard drive without causing many slow downs.

    Did you know you can fit System 2.2, MacWrite, MacPaint, and your files all on a single sided floppy?

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