Reports suggest that Intel, the company behind Ultrabooks, is working on a new solid-state drive (SSD) connectivity standard called NGFF in order to offer high capacity Terabyte Ultrabooks in the future.
In case you haven’t noticed there are no Ultrabooks on the market which ship with nor allow you to configure SSD storage above 512GB. In fact, there are only a select few 256GB SSD equipped Ultrabooks on the market available currently, with 128GB ones being far more common.
The reason that there are no Ultrabooks on the market with an SSD capacity higher than 512GB is simple; current SSD technology, under mSATA specification, has an effective capacity barrier of 512GB due to the size and format of SSD storage. If you refer to the image above, the SSD storage is the four black blocks rocking the Sandisk logo, and as you can see they don’t effectively take up space on the board (image used as an illustrative).
Keen to change this is Intel, who are said to be working on a few ideas to change the format of SSD storage so more memory can be stored overall, finally enabling PC manufacturers to offer Terabyte spec Ultrabooks which although pricey (and they will be VERY pricey), will satisfy the rich folk’ with a lot of dough to spend out there and those who simply need a Terabyte of storage, yet long for the quick and efficient ways of the SSD.
This new SSD specification is being referred to as NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) for the time being within the technology industry, and whilst reports suggest that the new specification will carry the same mSATA width and depth, it could in theory be offered in a length of 80mm, the length of which is the minimum requirement for a Terabyte of storage.
Should Intel’s ‘ideas’ work out, we could very well see super high priced high-capacity SSD Ultrabooks come to market as soon as 2013. We have contacted Intel for a comment on this, and will update this post as or when they do.