“Apple’s next iteration of its workstation-class Mac Pro will use PCIe flash memory, as will the new MacBook Air. Cupertino’s move towards flash memory could set a precedent other consumer manufacturers may follow,” Chris Mellor reports for The Register. “PCIe flash is closer to the system’s processors than SATA or SAS-connected SSDs, and thus data transfer is faster. The flash is likely to be expensive and there are several Thunderbolt ports [on the Mac Pro], so external disk drives could be used for bulk storage.”
Mellor reports, “The new MacBook Air also uses PCIe flash; it comes with either 128GB or 256GB of it. Anandtech describes a PCIe Gen 2 interface with sequential read/write performance of almost 800MB/sec. The report says it is a Samsung controller flash card – possibly a version of the 2-bit MLC 840 Pro – with SanDisk having a product for Apple as well. Tech-stripping websiteifixit dismantled a new MacBook Air and found: Samsung S4LN053X01-8030 (ARM) flash controller; 8 x Samsung K9LDGY8SIC-XCK0 16GB flash storage; 512MB of Samsung RAM.”
Mellor reports, “Apple is one of Fusion-io’s biggest customers for its PCIe card-format flash memory, but it looks like Fusion-io is not being used for MacBook Air PCIe flash – and possibly not for the Mac Pro flash either. If Fusion-io is supplying memory for the Mac Pro, that would be a great win for the flash firm… Fusion’s chief scientist is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak but we don’t know how much pull he has in Apple HQ right now. Probably not a lot. If Apple is not using Fusion-io flash in the Mac Pro then Fusion-io might rue the day it didn’t win that supply contest.”
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