Intel is an active participant in the race among chip makers to produce the highest density and fastest storage technology. Intel’s name is more commonly associated with CPUs rather than storage devices. But it is expected that in Apple’s next MacBooks, we will get to see the company’s Optane SSD, which is known to be blazingly fast, says a report from MacRumors.
Intel makes a leap with 3D XPoint
Last year, Intel and Micron jointly revealed a new type of storage technology they branded as 3D XPoint. They claim it is 10 times denser than DRAM and 1,000 times faster and more durable than run-of-the-mill NAND flash storage. Both companies claim that 3D XPoint is the biggest breakthrough since the introduction of NAND in 1989.
Intel promised that in 2016, the first 3D XPoint products would become available in the market under Optane, the new brand. It is speculated that Apple will be the very first adopter of the storage technology, taking the circumstances into consideration, says a report from Slashgear.
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Apple has always been early in adopting new technologies, and on a few occasions, it has even been the first. Some examples are Thunderbolt, some of Intel’s latest chip generations, and USB Type-C.
Optane SSDs more compatible with MacBooks
An important point worth noting is that Intel’s Optane SSDs are compatible with NVM Express or NVMe, which is the SSD communications protocol that is slowly and gradually replacing AHCI . NVMes have improved speed and performance, which makes them a perfect match for Optane. NVMe is already used in Apple’s MacBooks, and for this reason, it isn’t going to require more changes on that point.
Intel’s Optane SSDs will reportedly become available for public consumption or for use by Apple by the end of the year. In April or May, Apple might hold its annual WWDC event, and it is expected that in this event, the company will announce the next-gen MacBooks with Skylake processors and Optane SSDs.
At 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Intel shares were down 0.52% at $31.59. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 10%, while in the last year, it is up by over 2%.