Borrowing engineering methodologies from the automotive
and aerospace industries, Intel engineers have created
an Ultrabook concept chassis that is a fraction of the
cost and equivalent in quality to existing machined
aluminum and die cast metal solutions in the market
Intel desribed the applied technique as a "breakthrough
in the design of ultrabooks, the super-thin laptops that
the company count on in an effort to further strengthen
the PC market, which is languishing due to the growing
popularity of tablets and especially Apple's iPad.
Intel's technology involved 'structural reduction
analysis' to achieve added strength using existing
plastics widely available today. It would help lower
the cost of Ultrabooks in the near future by between $25
and $75. according to Intel's engineers at its Dupont,
Washington R&D center.
Generally, laptops with metal cases tend to be sturdier
than laptops with plastic cases, but they cost more.
The company said it would be sharing the results of its
work with its ecosystem partners, and that Ultrabook
systems using the new chassis designs would likely
become available next year after further refinements in
engineering and design.
At a meeting with analysts last month, Intel Chief
Executive Paul Otellini said upcoming ultrabooks would
be available for as little as $699, but many are
expected to be priced nearer to $1,000 or more. Otellini
added Intel is on track to reach its goal that
ultrabooks account for 40 percent of all consumer
notebooks sold by the end of the year.
At the Computex technology show in Taipei, Taiwan, next
week, PC manufactures are set to unveil manyultrabooks
using Intel's newest Ivy Bridge processors.
They will also demonstrate future models with touch
screens, based on Microsoft's Windows 8 platform.