New MacBook Air Specs Rumor: Super-Fast 400MBps Flash Storage

Regular readers of OSM will know how much we’ve been looking forward to the arrival of the new MacBook Air lineup for 2011. Response to our articles so far suggests an awful lot of you are waiting for the Air refresh too. Of course as you might expect, as the release date nears more rumors abound and the latest concerns new super-fast 400MBps flash storage for the next MacBook Airs.

Just in the last couple of days we’ve informed you of the latest speculation about a July 14 release date for the MacBook Air refresh, stemming from news that this may also be the release date for the new Mac OS X Lion. Yesterday we also looked at the results of a poll asking what people most desired on the next MacBook Airs and so far new Intel processors are way ahead of the field as most important feature required. Now, details of updated storage technology for the new Airs will be very welcome news for many consumers.

Apple’s flash drives (also alluded to as Solid State Drives or SSD’s) for the next MacBook Air are set to utilize a technology called “Toggle DDDR 2.0.” The new Airs will have 400MBps NAND flash storage chips, which are not only incredibly quick giving super-fast transfer data rates but will be soldered directly on the motherboard, according to Christian Zibreg over on 9to5Mac. This means the current mSATA connector would not be necessary. This information was sourced from Japanese blog Makotakara.jp, an Apple enthusiast site. If the rumor is accurate then we would be looking at a huge increase in performance and with the new Intel i5 and i7 processors, which everybody expects to see, we’d be looking at a mega-impressive new MacBook Air. However Zibreg does caution that this rumor is so far unconfirmed.

Meanwhile Sam Oliver over on Apple Insider also talks about the Makotakara report. It’s noted that NAND flash has an ONFI 3.0 specification for 400MBps speeds, standardized from the Open NAND Flash Interface Working Group but that many memory processing companies don’t yet have compatible chips. If you want more detail on exactly what this new technology is all about, over on Cnet there are a couple of useful description from Toshiba and also Samsung describing it. Toshiba says, “Toggle Mode NAND is a DDR NAND solution designed to consume less power than synchronous DDR NAND flash by eliminating the clock signal typically used in synchronous DDR memories.” For a more in-depth look see what Samsung has to say here.

We certainly hope that this is one rumor that does turn out to be true as although the MacBook Air is already snappy (I use one every day), nobody is going to turn down an even better performance. Whether this will have any effect on the price though is not yet known and you may be interested in a previous article where we speculated about the pricing for the next MacBook Airs and asked how much you’d be willing to pay. Let us know your thoughts on this latest rumor by sending us your comments.