mSATA SSDs provide similar speed and storage capacities to 2.5-inch SSDs in a fraction of the space, and Intel just certified OCZ's Deneva2 mSATA SSD as passing Intel's ultrabook performance benchmark for its Smart Response Technology (SRT). Using a combination of SSD and a traditional hard drive, SRT's intelligent caching system keeps the most commonly used data readily available; it also seamlessly integrates the two drives under one Windows identifier to keep things seamless to the end user. The small size of mSATA drives makes it possible for OEMs to fit the ultrabook definition while still including a mechanical hard drive for cheap, high-capacity storage.
While OCZ manufactures both SATA 2.0 3Gb/s and SATA 3.0 6Gb/s variants, only the slower SATA 2.0 versions were certified by Intel, in 30GB and 60GB configurations. Other specs include the older SandForce 2141 / 2181 NAND controller (as opposed to the SandForce 2281 in the SATA 3.0 model), read speeds of up to 280MB/s, and write speeds of up to 260MB/s. Intel's CES keynote next week promises to deliver more on the future of ultrabooks, and we wouldn't be surprised to hear more about SRT and mSATA's role in the many new laptops likely to be on display.