Rumour's jungle drums continue to beat patterns suggesting Apple may launch its first Intel-powered Mac next week - and the offering may feature flash-based cache memory for faster start-ups and performance.

DigiTimes reports the new notebook from Apple may exploit Intel's recently-revealed Robson cache technology. This uses fast-performing solid-state flash cache memory. Intel demonstrated the technology at the Intel Developer Forum in October 2005.

In effect, this promises systems that are faster than before, due to the way flash memory is always available to systems. It's why Apple's flash-based iPods start-up so fast and navigate quickly between tracks. It also offers significant savings in terms of battery life.

"Sources now claim that Apple will launch a notebook in the middle of this month that utilises (Intel's) flash-based cache memory technology," the report states.

The report did not name the model (iBook, PowerBook or a new specification) of Apple notebook that would offer the new facility.