The ever-excellent crew over at iFixit completed their initial teardown of the Early 2015 MacBook yesterday, creating some very nice shots of the Mac’s little logic board in the process. However not stopping there the crew also detached the SSD controller from the board, giving us our best look yet at what we strongly believe to be an Apple-built semi-custom or fully-custom SSD controller.

Images Courtesy iFixit

On the logic board itself, we can see that iFixit’s sample is equipped with Toshiba MLC NAND, 128GB per side, one package per side. However of greater interest is the chip bordered in orange, which based on the fact that it has multiple markings we believe to be the SSD controller, assembled in a Package-On-Package (PoP) fashion. The number we can decode is a part number for a 512MB Hynix LPDDR3 memory module; the other number we cannot decode at this time.

Multiple markings in this fashion is a tell-tale sign of a PoP chip, and having the SSD controller and its DRAM on-package with each other and located right next to the NAND chips makes a ton of sense, especially in such a cramped design. That said, while it means we can’t directly access the SSD die, it also confirms that this is not a strictly off-the-shelf SSD controller since someone had to go through the extra step of PoPing it.

Images Courtesy iFixit

Meanwhile having detected the chip from the logic board, we can see the underside of the chip, which has additional markings. At this time we are unable to decode the part number, 338S00055, though based on the location and PoP design we believe it to be the SSD controller. Otherwise the fact that it doesn’t match any other SSD controller part numbers is yet another clue that Apple had some kind of hand in developing the SSD controller.

Apple in traditional fashion is mum on the whole matter, but we’ll keep digging to see what else we can uncover about this unexpected surprise in their latest laptop.

Source: iFixit

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  • V900 - Sunday, April 19, 2015 - link

    Stay away from multitasking, and the Retina Macbook feels zippy enough for web browsing for example.

    But as soon as you multitask heavily, or use heavily multithreaded apps, the performance is more like a 2011 Macbook than a 2014 Macbook according to benchmarks.

    There may be folks that the Retina MacBook is awesome for. It'll make a good replacement for an iPad for example. But for the majority of customers it IS a bad deal.

    Compared to the MBA you get a better screen and its a few hundred grams lighter. Sure. But with worse performance, 1/2-3/4 the battery life, less ports and upgrade options and a higher price.

    Not exactly a no-brainer...
  • solipsism - Sunday, April 19, 2015 - link

    So I want a portable work device mostly for reading websites, emails, and writing. Why would I want a low-resolution, TN panel for that when the Retina IPS panel offers a much better user experience for my needs?
  • KPOM - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    The screen is worse in the UX305, and it also weighs more (about as much as a MacBook Air). Everything comes with trade-offs.
  • Penti - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    Of course, which is why I only said it could start there, for a simpler setup at the low ranges if they really wanted to. The machine as is with "retina" is worth more and would be impossible to make money of at that starting price as just the parts price should be in that range.

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