Storage technologies have come a long way but there’s always room for improvement, and a new technology showcased by Intel and Micron goes to show that there’s more than enough room for improvement in this space. The new ultra-fast memory technology is called Optane and it’s expected to be commercially introduced next year. If Apple does adopt it the new technology would allow for 1000 times faster storage on MacBooks.
Macworld reports that Optane is compatible with Apple’s NVMe storage protocol, it’s already used in its notebook, and this means that the transition would be an easy one for Apple if it decides to move to Optane.
Optane promises speeds 1000 times faster than conventional flash storage by using 3D Xpoint technology. Apple started supporting the NVMe or Non-Volatile Memory Express protocol with the 12 inch MacBook and enabled it with an OS X software update released in April last year.
Intel announced its 3D Xpoint memory standard last year, it can work as both DRAM and Flash, and is claimed to 10 times denser than DRAM while being 1000x more durable than NAND. This allows 3D Xpoint-based SSDs to have 10x the density of conventional SSD drives. Intel hasn’t revealed the full details of this technology yet but it says that it’s “not based on electrons.”
Apple is known for picking up latest laptop technologies to set its notebooks apart from the rest so there’s a good chance that it might opt for Optane as well when memory and SSD products based on this technology are released next year.
It merits mentioning here though that this is pure speculation at this point, Apple hasn’t confirmed if it’s going to do this, but it wouldn’t really be surprising if it does because it’s not like the company is opposed to the NVMe storage protocol.