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MacBooks with gigantic 10TB SSDs might soon be a reality

Published Mar 27th, 2015 2:14PM EDT
MacBook SSD Storage

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All of the MacBook laptops Apple is currently selling come with flash storage on board, which significantly improves their overall performance. Moreover, putting an SSD into an old MacBook will offer you a nice performance boost, breathing new life into older OS X machines. However, SSD aren’t yet affordable, making so this faster storage option is still too expensive for many people.

That will soon change, PCWorld points out, as Intel and Micron have figured out how to build notebook-ready 10TB SSDs, a breakthrough that will help further drive down prices of SSDs, and potentially improve default MacBook storage options in the future.

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The two companies on Thursday unveiled a new 3D NAND technology for SSDs, which should let them triple capacity of SSDs to up to 10TB of storage for 2.5-inch models. The new 3D architecture should also help Intel and Micron create thicker chips that can store significantly more data than before.

“The new 3D NAND technology stacks flash cells vertically in 32 layers to achieve a 256Gbit multilevel cell (MLC) and 384Gbit triple-level cell (TLC) die that fit within a standard package,” the publication explains. These advancements should improve efficiency, but also lower prices.

SSD drives based on the new 3D NAND technology will be available in products later this year, although no actual products have been named.

Apple’s current MacBook use PCIe-based flash storage, making do-it-yourself SSD upgrades rather difficult. But the new technology could offer MacBook owners access to cheaper external SSD drives in the near future.

Users still on older MacBook models could replace existing 2.5-inch HDD or SSD drives with newer 3D NAND designs once they become available. Not to mention that future MacBook models, as well as many Windows laptops, could come with flash storage based on Intel and Micron’s new technology, thus offering users bigger storage options for more affordable prices.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.