Originally Posted by wizard69
Most likely it will be a PCI Express card or a controller interfaced via PCI Express. It could be a controller of their own design or one of the new PCI Express supporting chips to recently hit the market. There is the issue of this "drive" being a card at all as they could simply integrate it directly on the motherboard.
Id bet money its electronically identical to mini-PCI, though mechanically proprietary. That is what Apple did with the AirPort Extreme Card, if I remember correctly.
In a way being directly integrated on the motherboard would suck for upgrades but it would be reliable. If they go the route of direct integration hopefully they will provide a slot for expansion. The one certainty here is that there won't be enough storage space.
Despite the cons, this has many benefits. This should be very fast and can be made to fit whatever form they wish. It could even be a large array of NAND atop or below the MoBo, something you dont see with HDDs or SSDs because of the thickness. That could lower the footprint. Or they could go the other way and spread it out over a greater area so the casing can be thinner or fit some odd shape. It opens up a lot options.
BTW, how often are people replacing their solid-state storage anyway? I bet its even lower than those who use replaceable batteries.
In any event the performance possible by going this route should be shocking. 500 to 800 MB / sec read should be no problem at all. Depending upon how aggressive they are performance could exceed that significantly. If they use an A4 type processor as the controller they might be able to do some interesting things with RAiD like tech to enhance flash reliability and fault tolerance.
it should be impressive. Apple can tweak this even further to make it work better for their OS. But what OS will they use? If they call it a Mac I would expect Mac OS X, but I dont expect Mac OS X to be made to run ARM processors. I expect a SFF CULV Core-i7. I do think making it a convertible notebook that doubles as a tablet, so I can see an iOS app simulator-type app, but I dont expect it to run iOS (or iOS to run x86).
All in all I'm vary curious about this new machine as it sounds like a major innovation effort upon Apples part. Hopefully they will manage the price better than the old AIR.
Im curious about the usability. I loved my 12.1 4:3 PowerBook, but my 13.3 16:10 MBP has less screen height which means less readable content, though its certainly workable. An 11.6 16:10 display is noticeably shorter, and even though a full-sized keyboard will fit will there be enough room for a full-sized trackpad? Finally, what about ports.