Some people have criticized the Retina MacBook since its official announcement both for its lone USB-C port and for the fact that it can’t deliver the same performance as other 2015 laptops. However, these criticisms have often ignored that Apple is giving a preview of the future for its mobile devices. If you want more evidence that the new MacBook is head of its time, look no further than a new discovery made during a recent teardown that shows how it’s better than any other Mac in one crucial aspect.
As found by iFixit and then confirmed by ChipWorks, the MacBook comes with a special flash memory controller that’s not made by the usual suspects (Samsung or Toshiba). Instead, the unbranded chip, seen above, is built by TSMC for Apple with technology that was likely purchased from Israeli flash memory controller designer Anobit a few years ago.
As AppleInsider points out, by using its own SSD controller, Apple was able to move from AHCI to NVMExpress, a protocol that’s optimized for PCIe SSDs to offer increased power efficiency and allows SSD drives spending more time in low-power idle modes. Furthermore, Anobit’s controller technology offers faster speed and reliability while predicting and reducing write errors.
Apple paid $400 million for the technology in 2011, when it purchased Anobit. It’s likely that future Mac designs will include similar SSD technology.
An image showing Apple’s custom SSD chip follows below.