The Merom processors will be launched by the end of this year and Intel already presented some of the features that will follow Merom's release.
After Intel's Napa platform, Santa Rosa is next for Intel along with the release of Crestline, Intel's next-generation mobile chipset. Crestline will bring along new features that utilize NAND flash memory. Intel says the technology, called Robson, is incorporated with Crestline (as part of the Santa Rosa platform) and allows critical OS systems to be cached to the non volatile memory. This way, the NAND memory will be used as a boot drive and may be able to include common applications as well.
Intel demonstrated Robson using OS boot times and application loads. The demonstration took place on a NAND enabled system and one without, and in many cases the one with Robson showed 4 to 5 times the performance of a legacy system. For mobility users, Intel also says that using NAND flash technology, battery power will be preserved because there is a higher performance-per-watt ratio on a NAND-enabled system vs. a legacy HDD-only based system. Intel also recently invested heavily into Micron, to create a new joint venture on producing NAND flash memory and NAND based products.
Notebooks and desktops with Robson will be launched in early 2007. More details over at Daily Tech.