Apple’s PCIe SSDs are already very fast, in part due to the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) protocol used in the latest MacBooks, which dramatically reduces latency times. But future models could get even faster as MacWorld notes that the very latest SSD tech is compatible with NVMe.
Optane is a brand name for a new type of memory and SSD based on 3D Xpoint, a technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron that can be 10 times denser than DRAM, and 1,000 times faster and more durable than flash storage.
The soon-to-be-released 3D Xpoint technology will be compatible with NVMe, a super-fast storage protocol that could help Optane achieve its blistering speeds. Some MacBooks already have NVMe-based SSDs, and Optane could provide a further speed boost.
Optane’s compatibility with NVMe has only just been revealed by Intel, which will of course also be compatible with the Skylake chips Apple is expected to use in its next generation of MacBooks. The new tech allows SSDs to get much closer in speed to RAM, with Intel promoting it under the slogan ‘Storage, Memory, Converged.’
As ever with Apple, there’s no way of telling whether or when it will adopt the technology. Apple sometimes likes to get ahead of the curve and at other times adopts and wait-and-see approach.
If you’re wanting to upgrade your existing MacBook Air or Pro SSD, check out the 480GB and 1TB options announced by OWC just this week.