New features in Windows Vista like Ready Boost will likely make 2GB and 4GB USB flash drives mainstream in 2007. This Ready Boost feature improves system performance by storing frequently used data on high-speed flash memory:
In general, UFD (USB Flash drives), memory cards, SSD (solid state disks), Hybrid HDD, Robson module, MP3 players,..etc, are equipped with NAND Flash storage devices that are potentially capable of employing Ready Boost. During the beginning, it is expected that the Ready Boost function will be employed in high speed UFD and memory cards.
Ready boost is essentially carried out by Vista's SuperFetch & EMD (External memory device) functions. SuperFetch employs a more intelligent memory caching method by preloading the user’s most frequently used programs. Therefore, even if the computer is turned on for the first time, or different files are accessed by different users, the system response time is very quick. The EMD, on the other hand, makes use of the UFD or memory card's flash memory in serving as the system's virtual memory. The virtual memory is not used as often as the system's main memory. However, its access speed is considerably much faster than the HDD. When the user removes the UFD or memory card, the EMD will automatically transfer the stored files in the EMD's virtual memory to the HDD. Thus, the improved computer performance from Ready Boost does not cause any data loss or operational disruptions.
Memory maker A-DATA says Ready Boost can improve performance by over 30 percent in some cases. Reports also say the DRAM and NAND Flash ratio should be at least 1:1-1:2. This means if 1-2GB RAM memory is used to run Windows Vista there should be at least 1 to 4GB of NAND flash memory. Therefore DRAMeXchange projects 2GB and 4GB UFD will become mainstream in 2007.