MacBooks could be high ‘Op­tane’ in a few years…

Will new drive tech­nol­ogy make your next note­book a speed freak?

Mac Format - - APPLE CORE -

MacBooks could be set for a ma­jor stor­age speed boost as early as next year, af­ter re­ports emerged stat­ing that In­tel’s new Op­tane SSDs could be in­cluded in MacBooks in 2017.

Op­tane drives con­tain 3D XPoint tech, which al­lows data to be read and writ­ten in small sizes far more quickly than on cur­rent SSDs thanks to the tran­sis­tor-less cross­point ar­chi­tec­ture of the drive. In prac­tice, that could mean speeds a thou­sand times quicker than cur­rent NAND stor­age, and a more durable de­vice too. Op­tane would also be 10 times denser than the DRAM chips con­tained in many com­puter mod­els around today.

Op­tane is re­ported to be mak­ing its way to Ap­ple’s Mac­Book range first, be­fore com­ing to PCs at a later date. Ap­ple has of­ten been an early and en­thu­si­as­tic adopter of ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy in its ma­chines, such as Thun­der­bolt and switch­ing to PCIe‑based flash stor­age in re­cent years, and Op­tane is an­other in­no­va­tion that will keep MacBooks at the head of the por­ta­ble com­put­ing pack.

It was also re­cently an­nounced at the Open Com­pute Project’s sum­mit in San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia, that Op­tane is com­pat­i­ble with the NVMe pro­to­col used in the lat­est Retina Mac­Book stor­age, so that’s one less ob­sta­cle in the way of Op­tane-equipped MacBooks.

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