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Apple is rumored to be packing 19 nm, 400 MBps, ONFI 3.0 compliant flash memory onto the motherboard of the new MacBook Air.  (Source: 9 to 5 Mac)
Integrating chips into the motherboard could allow the MacBook Air to offer high performance affordably

With a refresh of the MacBook Air seemingly impending the rumor mill surrounding Apple Inc. (AAPL) is once again heating up.  

According to Macotakara.jp, a Japanese Apple fan site, the latest version of the ultraportable will use cutting edge flash memory technology.  The site cites sources at unnamed Asian chipmakers as claiming that the latest Airs will contain 19nm flash memory chips soldered directly onto the motherboard for blazing speeds of up to 400 megabits per second.

Current generation MacBook Airs only have RAM chips soldered on.  The SSD for the laptops are connected using mSATA connectors.

Apple reportedly calls the new technology Toggle DDR2.0.  Aside from the rather curious title (ostensibly it involves NAND flash, not DDR memory), the technology is expected to be Apple's proprietary implementation of the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) Working Group's ONFI 3.0 standard.

ONFI 3.0 promises faster speeds and reduces the number of pins on flash memory chips.  These factors add up to nearly "instant" boot times and fast file copies.

If the rumor about the new flash is true, it likely comes from Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), Intel Corp. (INTC), or Spansion Inc. (CODE) -- all members of the ONFI 3.0 coalition.  Apple's current NAND supplier, South Korea's Samsung Electronics (SEO:005930), and the world's second biggest producer, Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502) are not currently members.

A split with Samsung would make sense, given Apple's ongoing legal war with the gadget and component maker.

At times Apple has been on the bleeding edge of introducing new standards.  It was the first major manufacturer to push Intel's proprietary LightPeak interface, which it renamed Thunderbolt.  The refresh of the MacBook Air is expected to come packing Thunderbolt as well, which requires fancy chip-laden $50 USD cables to work.

OS X Lion and the refreshed MacBook Air are expected to launch on July 14.



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RE: new standards?
By kitonne on 7/5/2011 10:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
Copper is reaching its limits, time to go to fiber optic :) If you ever played with fiber data connections, it is not too big of a deal; true, you cannot make your own patch cables, and welding fiber optic strands require fairly pricey equipment, but fiber patch cables are way cheaper then Thunderbolt cables, and they are already made in very large numbers by many players around the world.

Number of devices or what kind of data is being moved / supported does not come into play - that layer is in software, way above the physical link represented by the Thunderbolt hardware.

BTW, SCSI was easy to troubleshoot because was daisy-chained - you could start with just ONE device, and kept of adding until you found the issue. Its bus arbitration just works, you can talk to slow devices and fast devices on the same chain with no issues. USB may be more difficult to troubleshoot if you have multiple devices going to a hub, specially when some devices are streaming, as its arbitration model is much weaker.

I do agree that USB 3.0 is likely to win, as most new motherboards / computers have a couple of ports built-in, and for most applications, cheap and good enough is THE winning combination (as compared to best and not-so-cheap)....


RE: new standards?
By Pirks on 7/5/2011 11:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SCSI was easy to troubleshoot because was daisy-chained - you could start with just ONE device, and kept of adding until you found the issue. Its bus arbitration just works, you can talk to slow devices and fast devices on the same chain with no issues. USB may be more difficult to troubleshoot if you have multiple devices going to a hub, specially when some devices are streaming, as its arbitration model is much weaker
Gah, Reclaimer is gonna pop right now after reading this

Reclaimer, do something terrible please :)


RE: new standards?
By Bad-Karma on 7/6/2011 12:32:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Copper is reaching its limits, time to go to fiber optic :)


Lightpeak with copper is just the 1.0 edition. Lightpeak was built around a fiber line but reverted to copper a couple months before Apple made the announcement about "Thunder". I don't remember if it was here or "Tom's" but there was a decent article that quoted the Intel team. They went with Fiber in this first release do to manufacturing costs.

Maybe in 2.0 we'll see the fiber return.


RE: new standards?
By Bad-Karma on 7/6/2011 12:46:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
BTW, SCSI was easy to troubleshoot because was daisy-chained - you could start with just ONE device, and kept of adding until you found the issue. Its bus arbitration just works, you can talk to slow devices and fast devices on the same chain with no issues.


Yeah, but do you remember all the different connectors and adapter cables you'd have to mess with if you had to intermingle different SCSI 1/2/3 systems. Then you'd get into LVDs, or external drives with no pass through (thank you so much for that headache Iomega!)

Fiber Channel and Infiniband sure make things allot easier now.


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