Acer's Ultrabook SSDs May Become a Bit Odd

The first mSATA solid-state drive with two independent SSD subunits

A lot can be learned by taking apart a notebook, but most of the information is already available on the official spec sheets, so people don't usually bother raising too much of a fuss about teardowns. Acer's Aspire S7 Ultrabooks is different though.

Truth be told, the ultrabook is getting mentioned only by association, more or less. The real strange thing is about the solid-state drive inside it, a solid-state drive that needn't be restricted to this particular laptop forever.

The name of the SSD is CMT-256L3M, according to The SSD Review. It isn't actually something that Acer created. Not that this is a surprise. While Acer puts together the plans for laptops and other PCs, it doesn't actually make the components themselves, nor does it manufacture them in its own facilities.

The SSD is made by Lite-On and is strange in that it is the first mSATA solid-state drive featuring two independent SSD subunits, one on each side.

That means that the mSATA interface has been modified to have two SSD ports and that the system BIOS recognizes it as two individual SSDs instead of one.

The total capacity is of 256 GB and the operation mode registers as RAID 0 in the BIOS and the operating system.

The result is a storage product with two 64 GB dual-channel 24 nm toggle NAND chips (Toshiba-made), two Marvell 88S9175 controller chips and a Nanya DRAM cache processor.

The performance of the setup is off the charts, to say the least. Where even the best mSATA and SATA 6.0 Gbps (SATA III) SSDs barely manage 550 MB/s reading and a bit slower writing (which, truth be told, is a lot), the Lite-On CMT-256L3M can achieve 877 MB/s and 672 MB/s, respectively.

All in all, it is a wonder that this information didn't turn up before today. Perhaps other notebook makers will adopt the concept as well, at some point down the line.

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