Intel are expected to launch their Ivy Bridge processors for second-generation Ultrabooks sometime after May, and have demanded that data read/write speeds reach a certain level through adoption of SSDs or hybrid hard disk drives, according to a new report from Digitimes.
Most vendors are expected to adopt hybrid HDDs in order to cut costs, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Intel will reportedly promote Ivy Bridge in a different way, by slashing prices by US$60-70 on average, according to said sources. Storage devices within notebook production costs suck up around 10 to 15-percent, so vendors will obviously want to cut prices where they can.
Hybrid HDDs cost far less than full-blown 128 or 256GB SSDs, by up to 50-percent. Because of this, vendors will opt for hybrid drives to keep some Ultrabook models on offer to under US$700. Acer Corporate President Jim Wong has predicted that prices for Ultrabooks sporting hybrid HDDs will slot into the US$600-700 price range in Q4 2012, the sources noted.
The same sources have said that Ultrabook penetration will be around 20-percent of total notebook volumes for 2012, much less than Intel's predicted number of 40-percent.