As Intel will launch Ivy Bridge processors for use in second-generation ultrabooks in May and demands that data read/write speeds attain a certain level through adopting SSDs or hybrid hard disk drives, most vendors are expected to adopt hybrid HDDs to cut costs, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
In order to promote Ivy Bridge, Intel will lower processor prices by US$60-70 on average, the sources indicated. Because storage devices account for 10-15% of total notebook production costs, vendors will try to minimize storage costs, the sources noted. As hybrid HDDs cost less than 128GB and 256GB SSDs by more than 50%, vendors will use hybrid drives to offer ultrabook models at below US$700, the sources said.
Acer corporate president Jim Wong predicts prices for ultrabooks equipped with hybrid HDDs will fall to US$600-700 in fourth-quarter 2012, the sources noted.
Ultrabooks will account for 20% of total notebook volumes in 2012, lower than Intel's target of 40%, the sources noted.
In response, Intel said, "While we cannot comment on rumor and speculation on our future products, we can tell that Intel has not launched its third generation Intel Core processors (codenamed Ivy Bridge) yet, nor has the company announced pricing for these processors."
"We are working closely with our customers, partners and suppliers to infuse continued innovation into the new category of ultrabook devices and deliver them to consumers at mainstream price points," Intel added.