In recent years, Apple has steadily moved away from conventional spinning platters for storage on their MacBook line in favor of flash-based storage instead. Flash is faster, smaller and more efficient. The tradeoff is that capacities have suffered. But what if I told you that the next time you pick up a MacBook, it could have an incredible 10TB SSD under the hood? Sound far-fetched? Apparently, it really isn’t and it could be happening sooner than you think.
Intel is partnering up with Micron on a new manufacturing process for SSDs that will not only drive the price down for solid state drives, but also dramatically increase their availability storage capacity. The upcoming notebook-ready SSDs could boast as much as 10 terabytes, giving you more than enough room for your music, movies and other content.
The new 3D NAND technology for SSDs lets Intel and Micron triple the capacities of the drives, while retaining a traditional 2.5-inch form factor. It’s a whole new architecture that “stacks flash cells vertically in 32 layers.” The net result is a 256Gbit multilevel cell (MLC) and a 384Gbit triple-level cell (TLC) die. Geek speak aside? You get more storage, with up to a 10TB SSD, and the drive isn’t any bigger.
The good news is that because the new 10TB SSD will take on a traditional 2.5-inch size is that it may conceivably be an easy upgrade on an older MacBook, simply swapping out the old drive for this new one. That won’t be the case with the new MacBook or any of the newer models that use PCIe-based flash storage instead. That being said, future generations of MacBooks — as well as other laptops in general — could take advantage of this 3D NAND architecture.