Intel tech could take MacBook Air SSDs to 160GB next quarter

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel next quarter will introduce several new high-speed solid state drives (SSDs), including a 160GB model that will more than double the amount of storage capacity that Apple could offer customers of its SSD-based MacBook Air.



The new models, expected in 2.5-inch and MacBook Air-compatible 1.8-inch formats, will compete with drives from existing flash memory drive makers including Samsung, which has promised a 128GB version of its 1.8-inch SSD in the third quarter of the year.



What's more, Intel's NAND product chief Troy Winslow tells News.com, is that the Intel drives will boast transfer rates that are far superior to existing offerings, including the 100MB per second offerings from Samsung.



"We will be supplementing our product line with a SATA offering," Winslow said, referring to the high speed Serial ATA hard drive interface that delivers speeds of up to 3GB per second.



"When Intel launches its...products, you'll see that not all SSDs are created equal," he added. "The way the SSDs are architected, the way the controller and firmware operates makes a huge difference."



Intel also expects the price of flash-based drives to fall considerably over the next few years, reducing the technology from a luxurious commodity to a mainstream staple in notebook systems two years from now. While it costs about $1000 to upgrade a notebook to an SSD today, that cost could be shaved to less than $200 by 2010.



"Price declines are historically 40 percent per year," said Winslow. "And in 2009, a 50 percent reduction, then again in 2010."



In speaking to News.com, the Intel exec also highlighted SSDs as playing an increasing role in the server market due to their ability accelerate performance more than sixfold when compared to even the highest performing traditional hard drives.



He said that Intel recently performed a video-on-demand demonstration that required 62 15,000 RPM hard disk drives to stream 4,000 videos simultaneously. The company was able to replicate the same test using just 10 SATA (SSD) technology drives, he said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,294member
    Wow! Technology just never ceases to progress!



    I wonder if smaller versions might appear for iPhones.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    omfg!
  • Reply 3 of 37
    Maybe they could also put something like that in their higher-end computers. That would definitely kick a$$ right there!
  • Reply 4 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,190member
    How 'bout a 160 GB SSD for the iPhone, gents?
  • Reply 5 of 37
    mazzymazzy Posts: 53member
    a $2000 iPhone!!??
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Let see I would expect a MacBook Air with something like this to be $5,000. I am sure some would buy it as a build to order option.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    This is excellent news, not only for upcoming MacBook Airs but also for the next MacBook Pros.



    The only thing stopping me from buying a MBA today is the limitations of the 64Gb SSD drive. Assuming that these new SSD drives arrive in June, I wonder how long it'll be before Apple upgrades the MBA.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    This is heady stuff! Just got to wait a few years...



    I hate that my TiBook is still limping along, because it just makes me want everything. I want a faster laptop now (available) and I also want the summer revision (6 months) and a cool SSD drive (two years).



    If the damn thing would just die, I could buy a new one and be done with it. My life would be so easy!



    (Now, would I get a MB, MBP or an Air... OK, maybe life wouldn't be easier then!)
  • Reply 9 of 37
    tinktink Posts: 395member
    Quote:

    He said that Intel recently performed a video-on-demand demonstration that required 62 15,000 RPM hard disk drives to stream 4,000 videos simultaneously. The company was able to replicate the same test using just 10 SATA (SSD) technology drives, he said.



  • Reply 10 of 37
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by riversky View Post


    Let see I would expect a MacBook Air with something like this to be $5,000. I am sure some would buy it as a build to order option.



    If Intel's prediction is right, then the next likely option, 128GB, should cost the same as the 64GB option does now. That would be about the beginning of next year. It might also be clearly faster in all measures than the competing 1.8" HDD.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post




    If the damn thing would just die, I could buy a new one and be done with it. My life would be so easy!



    Two words. Pepsi syndrome.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    posnerposner Posts: 13member
    Clearly SSD is viable as primary storage for HIGH-END laptops now and for all laptops in a few years' time. But I'm wondering why Apple (or someone) doesn't adopt a hybrid approach for the next couple years that will bring SSD laptops to a broader market. Even 16GB would store the OS plus most apps and would hardly break the bank. Are there problems with integrating SSD+HD storage? Are the speed/battery gains not large enough?

    I'd appreciate wisdom from you laptop design geeks out there...
  • Reply 13 of 37
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    This is excellent news, not only for upcoming MacBook Airs but also for the next MacBook Pros.



    Or the Mac Book Pro I just purchased! I think retro fitting to these sorts of drives will be huge if it can be a proven power saver and performance enhancer.

    Quote:



    The only thing stopping me from buying a MBA today is the limitations of the 64Gb SSD drive. Assuming that these new SSD drives arrive in June, I wonder how long it'll be before Apple upgrades the MBA.



    I would expect the AIR solid state option to continuously decrease in cost over the next couple of years.



    What is interesting is that Intel and one of its partners (Micron I Think) announced the technology making up the improved flash drives a month or two ago. What is interesting is the rapid transfer of the technology to production.



    Dave
  • Reply 14 of 37
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,282member
    There is no history to make the claim that prices will drop by 40% on SSD after the first year and then an additional 50% after that.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by posner View Post


    Clearly SSD is viable as primary storage for HIGH-END laptops now and for all laptops in a few years' time. But I'm wondering why Apple (or someone) doesn't adopt a hybrid approach for the next couple years that will bring SSD laptops to a broader market. Even 16GB would store the OS plus most apps and would hardly break the bank. Are there problems with integrating SSD+HD storage? Are the speed/battery gains not large enough?

    I'd appreciate wisdom for you laptop design geeks out there...



    I see this as a very real possibility. It all depends on the approaches Apple thinks are feasible. Personally soldering 32 GB right onto the motherboard is the way to go. Leave the disk form factor space available to the users taste. Supplementary storage seems to be a way of life anyways.



    Dave
  • Reply 18 of 37
    mzaslovemzaslove Posts: 519member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    This is heady stuff! Just got to wait a few years...



    I hate that my TiBook is still limping along, because it just makes me want everything. I want a faster laptop now (available) and I also want the summer revision (6 months) and a cool SSD drive (two years).



    If the damn thing would just die, I could buy a new one and be done with it. My life would be so easy!



    (Now, would I get a MB, MBP or an Air... OK, maybe life wouldn't be easier then!)



    Ahhh, the eternal question. Many a notebook has "accidentally" fallen from a table... wink, wink.



    This is great news, as it's coming about much sooner than I expected.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    zanshinzanshin Posts: 350member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mazzy View Post


    a $2000 iPhone!!??



    Steve will drop them to $1500 after the first couple of months when the lines go away at the stores...

  • Reply 20 of 37
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    Hmm... about how many gigabytes do 2.5" HDDs gain every 9-12 months, and how fast have SSDs progressed in that same timeframe? (I'm just looking for storage, I know speed is important as well but I'm not asking about that)



    I think Flash memory usually doubles every year for flash chips of the same size, but I stopped keeping track a while ago, but if Flash continues to go at that rate and 2.5" drives are not accelerating at a faster pace then SSDs will probably overtake them in that same timeframe, 2-4 years is my guess, and completely replacing HDDs in laptops within 6-8 years with HDDs becoming a rarity after that.



    Capacity is not the only issue. Given the costs, I would push the uptake to 4 years or beyond.



    Quote:

    Now a Macbook Pro with the option of 2 256GB SSDs, that would be a dream.



    If you're really dedicated to the idea, you can probably do that right now.
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