This week Intel has introduced a standardized battery solution for Ultrabooks around the world, working with a solution that would make Ultrabooks not only cheaper to make, but potentially able to run much better as well. The standard size Intel is speaking about here for Ultrabooks of the future is 60mm x 80mm, aka 2.4-inches by 3.1-inches. These batteries will have cells with a diameter of 16mm, thinner than the common 18mm cells of today, and the whole solution would allow PC makers to standardize production should the industry adopt it.
These standards are being suggested, not demanded, by Intel as they ramp up for the next generation of ultra thin and ultra powerful notebooks this summer. Intel has also noted that there are 14mm batteries out there that could be used, but they themselves dismiss them as they're generally too expensive and not powerful enough to suffice for the machines of the very near future. Now Intel has just to wait to see if manufacturers will adopt this standard for their upcoming models.
Price savings with this "Standard Cell" are being said by Intel to be 5-10% cell savings with $1-2 per pack. Supply risks will be lowered, there will be no NRE for manufacturers, and cells will be available off-the-shelf. Sounds like a fairly pleasing situation, doesn't it?
At the moment, Ultrabook batteries come in all sizes and shapes, and as each book is designed, a new battery must be implemented as well. What Intel is doing here is making an effort to address that fact by acting as a beacon for reason which everyone can look to for guidance on standards. Whether or not the industry will adopt this standard is yet to be seen - we shall see soon enough!