Intel is rumored to be working on a new SSD specification for ultrabook applications. The new set of specifications is allegedly named Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) and Intel aims to replace the existing mSATA SSD specifications due to its storage capacity limitations.
DigiTimes has reported that Intel is aiming to work with NAND flash companies and PC vendors so that the NGFF specifications can be finalized as early as next month in September. NGFF will allow ultrabooks and other systems to break the 512GB flash storage barrier by utilizing NAND chips on both sides of the PCB. Currently, the mSATA SSD specifications limit the number of such chips to a maximum of four or five as they can only be installed on a single side of the PCB.
The new NGFF SSDs will be of the same thickness as the mSATA ones; however, the former will be longer. According to DigiTimes, there are five lengths being shortlisted for the new SSD specifications that include 20mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm and 120mm, with 42mm, 60mm and 80mm versions expected to make the final cut.
According to the sources DigiTime spoke with, most PC vendors and several big name players in the NAND flash business are participating in talks, including Micron, Samsung and SanDisk. The new NGFF SSD specifications are expected to be fully adopted into ultrabooks in 2013, but whether they will make inroads into traditional notebooks and become a standard specification for those devices, depends on its acceptance by PC brand vendors.