Intel sets sights on new Ultrabook SSD specs

Aug 14, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) -- Intel reportedly plans to standardize SSD specifications for its Ultrabook platform, in line with its resolve to lead the way toward slimmer, faster laptops. Intel wants a new SSD connectivity standard because it needs to put to rest some issues with the mSATA standard. The latter stands for Mini-SATA, an interface connector. The current mSATA-specification SSDs used in Ultrabooks are limited in capacity. It is impossible to fit in more than four or six chips of NAND flash memory, and Ultrabooks would be limited to 512 GB of storage. Intel is not about to live with that limitation.

The company is to invite on board some relevant industry partners, including NAND makers , Micron, and . The goal is to explore a new SSD form-factor derived from mSATA. Reports are that Intel is harnessing PC manufacturers and storage specialists to work out a new storage standard, specifically, called the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF).

The standard mSATA SSDs set specific limits to the printed circuit board size, while the new NGFF would allow for larger printed circuit boards to be made. It is expected that the next generation of NGFF SSD for the 2013 Ultrabooks will feature the same width and thickness but will have a longer PCB.

Intel’s recruits—Micron, SanDisk and Samsung Electronics—will help Intel to make Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) better. Five length standards under consideration by Intel for the next generation of SSDs include 20mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm and 120mm.

The NGFF will allow to push beyond current limitations of 512 gigabytes of flash storage without changing the thickness or width of drives. According to reports, the 42mm, 60mm and 80mm are the likely sizes. Work on the specifications is expected to continue through September. The new drives will be on the market next year.

The news comes none too soon for those familiar with the designs in question. The NGFF specs will allow disparate Ultrabook manufacturers to support a single SSD physical standard and will thereby make the industry a better environment overall, according to a recent article in The SSD Review. “I can’t imagine how many times an Ultrabook owner has cracked open their case in hopes of an upgrade, only to find that the they want to swap out is in some obscure proprietary format, or worse yet, is soldered onto the motherboard. Can you say stress?”

Explore further: Ineda developing low power companion processors to increase battery life for wearables

Related Stories

Intel announces Solid-State Drive (SSD) 330 series

Apr 17, 2012

Intel Corporation announced today the Intel Solid-State Drive 330 Series (Intel SSD 330 Series), a SATA 6 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) solid-state drive (SSD) that gives consumers a more affordable entry into the accelerated ...

Sandisk Unleashes World's Fastest MLC SSD Family

Jan 08, 2009

SanDisk Corporation today unveiled its third-generation family of solid-state drives (SSDs). Using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory technology, SanDisk’s G3 Series establishes new benchmarks in performance ...

Intel Announces X25-V 40GB Solid-State Drive for $125

Mar 15, 2010

Intel Corp. announced today a new addition to its award-winning lineup of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs): the Intel X25-V Value SATA SSD. Priced at $125, the 40 gigabyte (GB) drive is aimed at ...

Recommended for you

China's Alibaba plans IPO for week of September 8

10 hours ago

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans to hold its initial public offering on the US stock market the week of September 8, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Tablet sales slow as PCs find footing

10 hours ago

Tablets won't eclipse personal computers as fast as once thought, according to studies by market tracker International Data Corporation (IDC).

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

11 hours ago

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

Aug 29, 2014

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

User comments : 0