Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Apple Notebook with Robson Caching?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,971
12,481
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

Digitimes again is making waves on the Mac web about a possible use of Intel technology in upcoming Macs.

Although Intel only demonstrated its Robson cache technology in the fourth quarter of last year, sources now claim that Apple Computer will launch a notebook computer in the middle of this month that utilizes the NAND flash based cache memory technology.

Robson utilizes NAND flash memory instead of the hard disk for computer startup and launching frequently used applications. The use of this technology would allow for faster boot up times and improved battery life in portables utilizing the technology.

Apple is widely rumored to be announcing the first of the Intel based Macs next week at Macworld San Francisco.

Digitimes, however, as a source has been consistently unreliable. There maybe a small exception to this, in that they did predict 2GB and 4GB iPod shuffles back in June. One could read into this as possibly referring to the recently released iPod nano (2GB and 4GB sizes). That being said, it's unclear if we can give Digitimes the benefit of the doubt. According to them a widescreen iBook and G5 iBooks and G5 PowerBooks were all due in 2005.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,546
1,554
Digitimes is going to have to hit a lot more rumors on the head before I'll actually believe one of them.

I'll believe this one when I see it...
 
Comment

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
Sounds like the same tech that is being codeveloped between Microsoft and I think Toshiba. Prob wrong on that. Vista is supposedly going to be taking advantage of this uber cache. What is more interesting is the fact that right here there are competing technologies being developed. Microsoft vs. Intel. Very interesting.
 
Comment

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
this flash caching i bet is what'll be used on intel macs, not just because of instant bootup, but for anti-piracy. want to stop people stealing something? chuck part of it on a Flash chip. sorted :)
 
Comment

StealthRider

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2002
1,050
4
Here and there!
I was under the impression that NAND memory was, though faster than older types, still slower than standard hard drives...how would this improve boot time?
 
Comment

Mac_Freak

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2005
713
0
This technology has only few benefits, and it benefits Macs less. All it does is that it allows you to boot your system faster, but with Mac you just put your system to sleep in 2 sec and wake it up in another 2, which is what you can't say about Windows. Also this year a new HDD are to come out with the new perpendicular writing technology which will improve capacity as well as performance of them. Current HDD are capable of reading at speeds of 50MB/s, just how much faster that NAND memory can be?
 
Comment

Superhob

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2004
136
0
The way I understand it, Robson is primarily intended to save power. When you put your mac to sleep, it is using battery power to keep the ram "alive" until you wake up the computer. Try leaving your powerbook or ibook on sleep overnight and you'll notice a fairly sizeable drop in battery charge.

Robson uses NAND flash, similar to the one in the nano, to store data without the need for a constant power draw.
 
Comment

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I assume this means there would still be an HD.

HD-less NAND-only sounds great, but would cost too much... for now.
 
Comment

Mac_Freak

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2005
713
0
Superhob said:
....Robson uses NAND flash, similar to the one in the nano, to store data without the need for a constant power draw.
Isn't there some kind of new RAM memory under development that will allow you to do that?
 
Comment

Diatribe

macrumors 601
Jan 8, 2004
4,230
24
Back in the motherland
bigandy said:
this flash caching i bet is what'll be used on intel macs, not just because of instant bootup, but for anti-piracy. want to stop people stealing something? chuck part of it on a Flash chip. sorted :)

That might actually be a pretty good reason to use it. Put part of the system on there that is needed and that does its checks from there so it cannot be altered and you have yourself a viable anti-piracy option.
 
Comment

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
Apple could get very quick boots in many cases by doing a cache to disk right now. If state was saved when the system gets to the login screen, the same restore used for safe sleep could be used. If the quick boot fails (say, because the hardware configuration has changed), if could fall back to a conventional boot. I don't see where flash would add any sort of major boost to this.
 
Comment

grahamtriggs

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2003
169
86
Well, whilst trying not to make any real comment on Digitimes accuracy, there is an interesting way to look at the highlighted 'false' rumours:

G5 ibook / powerbook - talks about 2Q 2005, which might lead towards a WWDC announcement... and may have been on the cards in January, and switch to Intel decided afterwards when it wasn't going to work out...

Widescreen iBook - talks about 4Q 2005. Possible postponment, or even production ready for January with Intel processors (as rumours seem to be suggesting widescreen Intel iBooks).

I'm not trying to defend Digitimes, but maybe these weren't as far wide of the mark as they seemed at the time?
 
Comment

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,408
1,498
Pennsylvania
grahamtriggs said:
Well, whilst trying not to make any real comment on Digitimes accuracy, there is an interesting way to look at the highlighted 'false' rumours:

G5 ibook / powerbook - talks about 2Q 2005, which might lead towards a WWDC announcement... and may have been on the cards in January, and switch to Intel decided afterwards when it wasn't going to work out...

Widescreen iBook - talks about 4Q 2005. Possible postponment, or even production ready for January with Intel processors (as rumours seem to be suggesting widescreen Intel iBooks).

I'm not trying to defend Digitimes, but maybe these weren't as far wide of the mark as they seemed at the time?

I agree, it seems like Digitimes was blasted more than necessary.

However, rumor wise, f*** iWeb, THIS is the real rumor. who cares who reported it, iWeb was around in 2004 or something too. this should be page 1.

Ok, I'd love this in a laptop. Turn off the hard drive, use Ram...uber battery save.

I read on the new vista site that Vista will have this too.
 
Comment

Spectrum

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2005
1,680
1,028
Never quite sure
Yes. I got my PB loaded with memory with the naive premise that the hard drive could spin down most of the time (only active for loading saving), but it hardly ever spins down - OSX is too busy accessing it for various reasons of which I have no comprehension. Why doesn't it just fill up the available RAM with everything it needs? There's plenty of space available (normally 1GB+ free).

thejadedmonkey said:
...Ok, I'd love this in a laptop. Turn off the hard drive, use Ram...uber battery save...
 
Comment

yankeefan24

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2005
1,104
0
NYC
Battery

BlizzardBomb said:
I really want a fast-boot system. Sleep is a total waste of electricity.
I put my laptop to sleep last night with a full charge. Less than 20 hours later, i lost over 10% of battery charge. I just use sleep because i like apps like ichat mail and safari to stay open. When i boot up it takes forever for ichat to log in and safari and mail are also slow. This is something i'm hoping for, but i have to say that the rumor might not be reliable. BUT APPLE ALWAYS HAS TRICKS UP STEVE JOB'S SLEEVE.
 
Comment

hscottm

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2005
67
0
Just an obvious point - IF theres a PVR-type thing coming to market, this would be quite handy.
 
Comment

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,637
2
Just how much faster is the transfer rate of NAND over HD? I can see the use of NAND memory to store OS states, so you can turn off a laptop without having to reboot, similar to saved states in Virtual PC. A very useful option.

Second point, isn't there limited write-erase cycles on NAND memory, like there is on compact flash memory, or they the same thing? Interesting, nonetheless.
 
Comment

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,564
4,128
You guys might think I'm not being fair to Digitimes... but these are not unfounded concerns.

Digitimes lost credibility back in 2003, when it was clear a pattern was being formed...

https://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/09/20030917033706.shtml

The Loser?

Beyond all the sites that offered premature predictions of PowerBook updates, one site in particular stands out as a source of misinformation.

Digitimes.com claimed in January 2003 that Apple was going to start production of a 15.4" PowerBook in the "near future", and later claimed that 15.4" PowerBook production was ramping up in June. It turns out, that these reports were wrong... and, in fact, may have sparked off all the (inaccurate) speculation and rumors of PowerBook updates over the past 8 months.

Digitimes has previously had other inaccurate reports, including 19" iMacs, termination of 17" iMac Production, and an Apple Tablet. As a result, future reports from Digitimes should be met with skepticism.

You can try to explain away the last couple... but then you have to explain away the last 8 stories. And you're left with practically nothing that has actually come true.

arn
 
Comment

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,637
2
arn said:
You guys might think I'm not being fair to Digitimes...<snip> but then you have to explain away the last 8 stories. And you're left with practically nothing that has actually come true.
Digitimes is like the ugly sister in the family. We'd all like to forget about her, but we can't.

I guess we can just shove her in the closet. :D

 
Comment

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,684
1
LaLaLand, CA
I think they just pulled the 2 and 4 GB shuffle thing out of their butts. Or maybe they heard it somewhere else, as we've heard this NAND thing before. Speculation of course. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
 
Comment

macnews

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2003
601
2
Idaho
Superhob said:
The way I understand it, Robson is primarily intended to save power. When you put your mac to sleep, it is using battery power to keep the ram "alive" until you wake up the computer. Try leaving your powerbook or ibook on sleep overnight and you'll notice a fairly sizeable drop in battery charge.

Robson uses NAND flash, similar to the one in the nano, to store data without the need for a constant power draw.

I don't know what the heck you guys are talking about. I know my laptop and two other friends who can go to sleep for hours and maybe lose 1-2% charge. And we are talking about a two year old 17" pb, month old 15" pb and 5 month old 14"ibook. Maybe the three of us are lucky, but this is the first I have heard of 10% battery loss in sleep mode (cover shut). Matter of fact, I could swear I have gone 24+ hours with maybe 8% power loss.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.