In April of 2012, Asus plans to launch its second generation of Ultrabooks based on Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge chips, which the company's CEO says it will have a starting price as low as $600 US.
The more feature rich models that Asus
plans to introduce will top out at $900 US, which is still under the $1000 US mark set by Intel for such products.
The price of the first generation of Ultrabooks
based on Sandy Bridge processors has been a hot discussion topic in the last month or so, as notebook makers have often complained about not being able to meet Intel's desired price mark due to high component prices.
This has forced the Santa Clara chip giant to take some drastic decisions in this regard, but such devices are by no means cheap, Asus' upcoming 11.6 and 13.3-inch models being expected to start at $899, while Lenovo's U300s will be available in October with a starting price of $1,195.
Ivy Bridge is the code name used for the 22nm die shrink of the current Sandy Bridge chips and features basically the same architecture, but with a few minor tweaks and improvements.
This includes a new on-die GPU that will come with full DirectX 11 support as well as with 30% more EUs than Sandy Bridge, in order to offer improved performance.
In addition, the processor cores have also received some minor tweaks as their AVX performance was slightly increased and Intel has updated the integrated PCI Express controller to the 3.0 standard.
The move will benefit multi-GPU systems as well as users who use high-performance PCI Express SSDs and other such devices that require high data bandwidth.
The rest of the changes brought with Ivy Bridge
come from the new 7-series Panther Point chipsets, which pack native USB 3.0 support. (via DigiTimes