Ultrabooks may be built from new materials
Responding to a limited supply and cost restrictions of unibody aluminum chassis, Ultrabook™ manufacturers are expected to adopt new materials to build the lightweight notebook computers, industry news provider DigiTimes reports.
According to the report, PC vendors are urging manufacturers to use high-density fiberglass bodies or plastic internal parts to offset the aluminum restrictions of their Ultrabook models. If manufacturers choose to use plastic internal components, they will likely still use aluminum chassis, allowing the computers to retain a metal appearance.
In addition to expediting production, using plastic parts might also reduce the cost of manufacturing Ultrabooks. According to DigiTimes, a traditional unibody chassis costs between $40 and $80 to produce, while the new design will only cost between $20 and $30. This could allow Ultrabook vendors to lower the price of the products and appeal to a wider audience.
The design process isn't the only factor that the Ultrabook is affecting in the PC industry. According to a November 2011 report from market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli, the semiconductor market is poised for a significant shake up as well, as new chip designs are needed to optimize the devices' power and sensor capabilities.