Samsung has developed a flash memory-based drive that exploits features in Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista operating system to increase computer performance.

The drive is packed with 4GB of flash memory – data storage chips that work faster than current hard disk drives and can hold information with the power turned off. Coupled with Vista's ReadyBoost feature – which allows flash memory to be used for storage of information that would otherwise be written to the hard disk – it means that programs should be much more responsive than is currently the case with Windows XP, Samsung said.

The technology is one of several that Microsoft is building into Windows Vista to increase system responsiveness.

Among the others are ReadyDrive, in which flash memory is added to hard disk drives to act as a temporary memory cache. Doing so means lower power consumption and a faster wake up from sleep mode. Another technology, SuperFetch, anticipates what applications and documents might be next required and pre-loads them so they start faster when called up by the user.