DigiTimes is reporting that Intel and other companies are looking at alternative materials for ultrabooks.
Magnesium-aluminum is the preferred choice of materials for ultrabook chassis, but there are only a limited number of lathes that can handle such chassis. Two of the largest owners of such lathes, Catcher Technology and Foxconn Technology, are major suppliers for Apple, leading laptop makers into fiberglass chassis. Ultrabooks are supposed to be 0.8-inches (20.32 mm) at their thickest points.
One advantage with fiberglass is that it is cheaper, which could lead to fiberglass ultrabooks being up to $50-$100 cheaper, according to the report.
Just a day later, DigiTimes reported that Intel has supposedly revealed the Bill of Materials (BOM) for ultrabooks, with a cost of $475 – $650 USD for 21mm (0.83 inches) ultrabooks, and $493 – $710 for 18mm (0.71 inches) ultrabooks.
Intel is to meet with notebook makers in Taipei next week to discuss the ultrabook initiative, with the goal of retail prices below $1,000.
The article mentions that Intel will discuss the next geneartion of ultrabooks, slated for 2012 and using Intels’ 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs. In 2013, they are to be using Haswell-based CPUs. Haswell is also 22nm, and is the replacement for Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture.
Keep in mind that just because they are thin, does not mean that they don’t have larger displays. The Huron River (2011) and Chief River ultrabooks (2012) are to have displays ranging in size from 11-17 inches. The 18mm (0.71 inch) ultrabooks will have displays ranging from 11-13 inches while the 21mm (0.83 inches) models will be 21mm thick.
According to DigiTimes sources, some of tghe 18mm models include Asustek’s UX21 and UX31 ultrabooks.