In my previous post on readyboost I tried to explain out the basic ideology of the technique called readyboost and also some performance statistics to support the theory. Well that was for Microsoft operating systems [dedicatedly available in Vista or newer and have to be manually configured in older OSs].
The idea of readyboost is simple. For machines with low RAM, whenever the data access requirements over-flood the RAM, the OS starts to pass the least probably-important data to the page files on the hard disk and loads currently required/most important/high priority data on to the RAM from the hard disk/page files. This is where the machine slows down. Activating the readyboost adds another layer in between the page files and the RAM in the data access hierarchy. Thus whenever the ram over-floods, the new data is loaded from the flash drive and the old data is passed to the flash drive. In the flash drive also data is collected and maintained in the same manner as the RAM.
Now, Linux also uses something similar to the paging file systems called the swap partition. Swap partitions do the almost the same job that is done by the page files in the windows environment. So it is possible to create swap partition on a flash drive. As because flash drives give a higher access speed, the swap partition will be faster on the flash drive. And if we assign priority to the flash drive swap compared to the dedicated hard disk swap, the flash drive enters in to the hierarchy scheme and performs almost the same way as the readyboost concept.