RunCore Announces New MacBook Air Compatible SSDs

RunCore’s latest offerings are of a slightly different nature. As of late, the Chinese firm has been focusing more on ruggedized SSDs for demanding applications like military deployment. Their new Rocket Air SSD goes in a different direction.

Compatible with Mid-2011 MacBook Air laptops, the new RunCore is a “bubblegum” or “blade” style SSD.

RunCore’s Rocket utilizes a mini-PCIe style electrical connector attached to a bare PCB, the same style also seen on some Ultrabook laptops, though not in a cross-compatible format. The Mac style drive is proprietary, though very similar physically to those later used in PC ultramobiles.

The Rocket Air pairs a SandForce 2xxx series controller with “Tier 1 Synchronous Toggle”, though available pictures of the Rocket Air show not Toggle, but ONFi standard flash from Intel. Newer 24nm Toggle NAND made by Toshiba can dramatically reduce power consumption over that of both 32nm Toggle NAND and current ONFi flash from IMFT, making it’s use more probable.

RunCore’s published performance data shows 500+MB/s sequential reads and 300+MB/s sequential writes in AS SSD (which uses incompressible data) when using MSAHCI drivers. Random performance is in the ballpark of standard form-factor SSDs, but likely hampered by slower laptop storage performance. Toggle equipped SF-2281 SSDs possess excellent random characteristics, but many laptops are unable to reach the level of speed seen in their desktop counterparts, especially with small randoms.

Currently, the MBA only ships with solid state storage. Apple’s OEM drives are made by either Samsung or Toshiba, though neither is particularly fast. To date, only OWC has offered MBA replacement SSDs, and now with a new entrant on the market, things could be looking up for MBA owners looking for better capacity and performance.

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