Taiwanese supply chain makers told DigiTimes that optical disc drives (ODDs) with a thickness of just 9mm will arrive in 2013. These drives will primarily be used for ultrabooks, current ultrabooks use 9.5mm ODDs while conventional notebooks typically use 12.7mm versions. The production cost of the new 9mm model is said to be less than 10 percent higher than the 9.5mm models.
The article also mentions that disc drives with a thickness of just 8.5mm or 7mm face technological barriers and would have an exponentially higher production cost.
Although slim-type ODDs are unlikely to be given up for use in notebooks, the proportion of notebooks equipped with slim-type ODDs has declined from over 90% to about 80% in 2012 and is likely to drop further to 60-70% in 1-2 years, the sources indicated.
Development of slim-type ODDs with thicknesses of 8.5mm or 7mm for example face technological barriers in optical pick-up heads. In addition, R&D and production costs would be as much as 3-4 times those for 9.5mm models, the sources said.