CPU Chipset - Published on Friday, 12 August 2011 12:45 Written by Anton Karmehed
Apple is not the just the highest valued company on the stock exchange, it also has a unique ability to get its way and is one of the most influential companies on the market. It has now been revealed that Apple more or less threatened to ditch Intel's platforms if it could not deliver powerful yet energy efficient processors for the Apple Mac.
Those who thought it was a coincident that Apple was first to market with Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors should reconsider. When Apple developed its third generation ultrathin notebook MacBook Air it had the goal set. It wanted to keep the formfactor but also increase performance substantially, without sacrificing too much battery time.
Intel had not processors that would get the job done, and Apple decided to be tough against the world's largest processor manufacturer. According Greg Welch who is responsible for Intel's Ultrabook project Apple put up an ultimatum;
"Apple informed Intel that it better drastically slash its power consumption or would likely lose Apple’s business."
The threat to ditch Intel's platform was according to Welch an alarm clock for the company that in May decided to announce its new energy efficient Sandy Bridge platform where the comsumption was lowered from 35-40 watt to 17 watt. A platform that it is now throwing money at, including a 300 million dollar fund available to those who wants to develop components and computers in the Ultrabook concept.
Apple is said to try out an ARM-based version of MacBook Air, based on a similar A5 circuit that we find in iPad 2, so threat is certainly real for Intel.
This information comes directly from Intel, which does say a lot about the influence Apple has in the computer market, but does make us question Intel's own planning that it did no realize that it would be market demand for more energy efficient circuits with better performance. If nothing else, it has realized it now.