Apple to Intel: Lower Chip Power Consumption or We’re Gone

Apple logoIntel’s more energy efficient computer processors were spurred on in part because Apple threatened to stop using the company’s chips in the Mac if the power requirements weren’t improved. Apple gave the ultimatum early this year ahead of Intel’s announcement that it would be introducing processors that required only 15 watts to run, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Apple’s threat to drop Intel’s chips from its computers was apparently just what the company needed to work on its new energy efficient designs. “It was a real wake-up call to us,” said Intel Ultrabook group director Greg Welch.

The chip designs Intel created have made their way into products like Apple’s Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Air, and now they’re part of Intel’s Ultrabook laptop specification. The Ultrabook spec includes the necessary chips to build ultra thin computers, will be about two centimeters thick, and must wake from sleep in no more than seven seconds.

The design parameters Intel has created will help PC makers build laptops that are intended to better compete with Apple’s popular MacBook Air. Apple’s ultra thin laptop is 1.7 centimeters at its thickest point, uses a solid state drive instead of a traditional hard drive, and runs substantially longer between charges than other laptops.

Intel is pumping some US$300 million into its Ultrabook platform in hopes of stirring up interest and innovative designs in super thin PC laptops. Some of the money will be invested in companies that design sensors and touch-based components for computers.