Intel's Robson gets a real name: Turbo Memory

Hannover (Germany) - Intel revealed more news about its upcoming flash cache technology. Code-named "Robson", the add-in card is now officially called "Turbo Memory" and promises to accelerate application startups on notebooks.

Intel is taking it slow at this year's Cebit, at least from the view of product announcements made so far.

At its Cebit kick-off press conference, the company pretty much focused on highlighting the already widely known feature set of its next-generation notebook platform "Santa Rosa," which is generally expected to debut in May of 2007. While we expect Intel to say a bit more about its desktop-targeted Salt Creek platform, including the 3-series chipsets as well as the upcoming Core 2 Duo 6x50 processors during Cebit, the company has been rather quiet so far. But at least we now know Robson's real name.

"Turbo Memory" is based on NAND flash memory and is likely to be offered in high-end Santa Rosa notebooks. The technology will be positioned as an add-in option and include either 512 MB or 1 GB of memory. Intel says that applications will launch about at 2x the speed when compared to a notebook without a Robson card.

Going with the mobile theme, Intel will participate in what appears to become the second industry-wide push of Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs). The first generation, launched at Cebit 2006, was less than successful and was not able to match those high expectations created by Microsoft's Origami campaign.

But the IT industry has learned and at least Intel believes that UMPCs could become a car PC solution in the future. The company demonstrated a concept in which UMPCs were attached to a dock in the center console of a car; audio specialist Harman Becker, showed a prototype that aims to replace the iPod in the car by offering voice recognition and allowing consumers to find music tracks using voice commands.