SAN FRANCISCO The combination of Microsoft Corp.'s forthcoming Vista operating system and initiatives sponsored by big-name IC suppliers like Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will result in NAND flash memory being designed as a cache between PC hard drives and main memory, according to a new report by market research firm Semico Research Corp.
"This design provides certain compelling benefits, including faster response times, lower power consumption and improved HDD [hard disk drive] reliability," said Jim Handy, Semico's director of nonvolatile memory services, in a statement. "But these benefits are more important to the OEM than they will be to end users. Semico anticipates OEMs to drive rapid adoption of NAND caches, whether in the HDD or on the PC's main board."
Indeed, Semico's report, "NAND in PC Hard Drives: More Than a Fast Starter," concludes that users will hardly be aware of the inclusion of NAND, according to the company.
The study covers a basic technology that goes by several names, including ReadyDrive, Hybrid Hard Drive, Robson and External Memory Device, Semico said, and relates to SuperFetch, ReadyBoost, and InstantON. Most of these are names for ways that Microsoft's new Vista operating system will use NAND as a cache between DRAM and the HDD, according to Semico (Phoenix).
The study includes a forecast showing the anticipated impact these technologies will have on NAND revenues through 2011, the company said. The study is available for purchase on Semico's Web site, priced at $1,995, according to Semico.