AppleInsider is reporting that Intel plans to incorporate NAND flash memory into its next-generation notebook platform. This would enable Intel's clients (like Apple) "to develop systems that are twice as fast in some operations yet sustain longer battery life." At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in March Intel mentioned that they plan to add flash memory support to their Santa Rosa notebook platform which is due in the first half of 2007.
The report echoes what I wrote in November 2005 about how Intel's Robson technology integrates NAND flash into "instant-on" computers. In December 2005 I wrote about a flash-based diskless PowerBook (well, MacBook) that could further reduce the footprint of a notebook computer.
Flash notebooks make a lot of sense because they can boot instantly and run longer on battery power because they don't have to spin up a magnetic hard disk drive (the most power consuming process of an HDD). All this should add up to as much as twice the battery life we get from current MacBooks and MBPs. Apple has some of the strongest buying power of NAND flash memory in the business because of their market dominating iPod. It doesn't hurt that Apple holds supplier arrangements with the world's five-largest NAND suppliers, either.
Maybe Apple will eventually deliver the MacBook nano I have been dreaming about.