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Innovation

MacBook Air storage: Not a DIMM

The new MacBook Air comes with storage from 64GB to 256GB, depending on the model. However, this storage looks nothing like the traditional slim line drive module that apes the hard drive footprint. Since it looks like a memory module, some are calling this flash storage module a DIMM. Not!
Written by David Morgenstern, Contributor on

The new MacBook Air comes with storage from 64GB to 256GB, depending on the model. However, this storage looks nothing like the traditional slim line drive module that apes the hard drive footprint. Since it looks like a memory module, some are calling this flash storage module a DIMM. Not!

In Jason O'Grady's recent post on the iFixIt teardown of the new Air, there was ambiguity on the storage – "a very slim and unusual form factor (for a hard drive)" – as well of its connector.

It’s attached to the logic board with what appears to be a new mini-SATA (mSATA) connector, which brings hope to super-slim-laptop-hackers all across the globe. This may enable some crafty tinkerers to rig a larger drive inside the Air, provided they can fit everything within the tight confines of the .68″ thick case.

Yes, it is an mSATA connetor. You can see the form factors more clearly in this Trusted Review article on the mSATA standard.

mSATA is physically identical to the familiar PCIe mini-card and its connector. The SATA signals are mapped to the new PHY.

According to the storage gurus on a list that I read, more about mSATA will be found in the upcoming SATA Specification Revision 3.1, currently in member review, which is slated for release in December.

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