As techies moan about the lack of upgrade options presented by a soldered in SSD, they miss the bigger industry picture. For too long, computers have been held back by traditional SCSI and ATA controllers. These are both a performance bottleneck and an impediment to innovation. A shift to an integrated PCI storage model makes much sense tactically and strategically for Apple, and I expect that these rumors are true. Furthermore, this move will put even more stress on Windows PC makers. Once again, Apple is outmaneuvering the competition.
More information about the unconventional SSD used in Apple’s new MacBook Air. As I discussed in my previous coverage of this new flash form factor, it resembles a PCI Express Mini Card but is much smaller. Toshiba has now proved my speculation that the device uses SATA signals rather than the PCI Express lane used by the similar AirPort card. We also know that the lauded performance of the device is due to its chips and controller rather than skipping SATA in favor of PCIe as some had speculated.