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Next MacBook Air to Adopt Faster, More Power Efficient SSD?

Mac Otakara claims that Apple will be adopting a new Toggle DDR 2.0 type of NAND Flash Memory for the basis of the new MacBook Air's SSD drive. The Japanese website cites an "Asian electronics component person" as the source of the information. (via AppleInsider)
Current SSD device Blade X-gale supporting SATA 2.6 will be abolished and new 19nm flash memory will be packaged into smaller chip and will be soldered on base circuit directly.
The move would be a rapid departure by Apple from the current SSD stick format that was just introduced in last year's MacBook Air. Instead of a replaceable part, the new Flash chips would be soldered directly onto the MacBook Air's motherboard.


The new format supports speeds of 400Mb/s and in conjunction with a new ONFI 3.0 standard will allow future controllers to run faster or similar performance to today's SSDs with "half the number of channels, providing both a cost and space savings".

Samsung also touted another major feature of this new technology last year, claiming that a low-power mode could extend a notebook's battery life for an hour or more.
The resulting power throttling capability enables the drive’s high-performance levels without any increase in power consumption over a 40nm-class 16Gb NAND-based 256GB SSD. The controller also analyzes frequency of use and preferences of the user to automatically activate a low-power mode that can extend a notebook’s battery life for an hour or more.
Given the market positioning of the MacBook Air, the potential battery improvements and cost savings may be driving Apple's adoption of this technology more than the performance advantages.

Related roundup: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
The sceptical in me says this is nothing to do with speed, but rather with limiting 3rd party SSD upgrades.
Custom hard-drive firmware on iMacs, now soldered SSD... Apple machines are fast becoming severely locked down, and turning computers into disposable units.

I love Apple but am getting royally pissed off with this artificial locking down, especially if I can't even reuse components like a screen.
If I can't afford a bigger spec machine right now, I can't upgrade in the future. Instead, I need to buy a new one :confused:
Unless I go MacPro which, let's be honest, hasn't received a lot of Apple's attention in the recent past...
Rating: 30 Positives
37 months ago
SSD soldered onto the motherboard hmm.
You trash your ssd with writes and that means that you also trashed your motherboard. Nice. Soldered ram maybe, soldered ssd nop.
Rating: 23 Positives
37 months ago
I'm not sure why people are complaining about Apple locking down the MBA.

In order for laptops like MBA to get thinner, everything has to be more integrated (or locked down) and the option to upgrade has to be eliminated in order to do this.

Apple isn't locking down the bigger laptops that can support upgradability, they're doing this for the ultra-thin laptops. The more they can solider onto the laptop, the more space they can remove.

You are not paying $1K for the option to upgrade, you're paying $1K for the best integrated laptop with the smallest weight and footprint.
Rating: 20 Positives
37 months ago
Do we really want to move laptops to a point where they are completely unexpandable?
Rating: 18 Positives
37 months ago
Simple math... better battery life will benefit 100% of users... upgradeable SSD will benefit .001% of users.
Rating: 17 Positives
37 months ago

will be soldered on base circuit directly.


Ah, another good reason to stick to the 2010 model. Intel 3000 HD and now this. :rolleyes:

Whats actually the use/market for the MB Air?

I mean, is more expensive and less capable than the samller Mac Book.


People who value portability (Size and weight) above a marginal increase in specs that doesn't matter ? My MBA has the same GPU as the Macbook, runs all my software and is much easier on the back.
Rating: 14 Positives
37 months ago
I was planning to limit myself to the smallest capacity SSD and possibly upgrade later. This move would take away that possibility.
Rating: 14 Positives
37 months ago


I love Apple but am getting royally pissed off with this artificial locking down, especially if I can't even reuse components like a screen.
If I can't afford a bigger spec machine right now, I can't upgrade in the future. Instead, I need to buy a new one :confused:
Unless I go MacPro which, let's be honest, hasn't received a lot of Apple's attention in the recent past...


Here's something to consider. Macbooks have an insanely high resell value. Rather than complaining about computers being locked down and unable to upgrade, buy a macbook and use it for 2-3 years and then SELL it rather than upgrading. Then buy a newer generation system. You'll be getting a much faster system anyway.

Case and point. I had a 2000 dollar macbook pro from 2009 and I just sold that thing for 1300 on ebay. 3 years and a loss of only 700 dollars is almost a steal. Put in a couple hundred dollars and I'm picking up a baseline 2011 macbook pro 15.

How's that for upgrade?
Rating: 14 Positives
37 months ago

It's 400Mbits/s, not bytes. The actual speed depends on the controller too.

EDIT: Hmm, Samsung's site is wrong then. ONFI's site claims 400MB/s which is what I remember as well (133Mb/s wouldn't be enough for even today's SSDs)


No. There are SSDs which are capable of over 600 Megabytes per second for read speed, and 700 for write, so this is well within range for an affordable SSD.
Rating: 11 Positives
37 months ago

Instead of a replaceable part, the new Flash chips would be soldered directly onto the MacBook Air's motherboard.


This will undoubtedly usher in an exciting new paradigm in planned obsolescence during the forthcoming post routine maintenance era!
Rating: 11 Positives

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