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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, 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 quiksilvr on 7/6/2011 1:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
1) What are you talking about? Both were developed by Intel (which makes it even more confusing).

2) How much of a hit is there? My guess is its quite a significant hit going passive to make it get outpaced by 6 Gbp/s SATA and 4.8 Gbp/s USB 3.0, otherwise they would have launched it with passive and say it beats those two standards.

3) Agreed its not complicated for one device but if you want to make thousands if not tens of thousands, the money adds up for manufacturers.

4) In America it's number 3 but globally its number 5. Why wouldn't you at least put it in with the top two competitors? Who pegs a golden standard on 3rd or 5th place? Furthermore, why wasn't it just spread throughout ALL top manufacturers? Why the limitations?

5) A minimum of three connectors for the same use as one Thunderbolt? For what purpose? And what are these claims about latency? That depends on what's using it. A hard drive will give you latency (sometimes as high as a whopper of 4 milliseconds) but that's through no fault of SATA or USB. It is limited by its rotational speed. Solid State negates this latency argument.

And bandwidths on even the fastest Solid State Drives have yet to push 6 Gbp/s SATA to its limit yet (unless its PCI...but its connected via PCI and reaching its potential so who cares?). And when that day comes when it surpasses SATA, they will just upgrade SATA along with it.

6) Agreed, but it has a lot of competition and its introduction was not nearly aggressive enough for this to happen.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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