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 today.
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.