The MacBook Air Could Have Had An ARM Processor After Apple Threatened Intel Over Power-Hungry Chips

By

macbook_teardown_chips

One Intel director revealed in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal that Apple threatened to drop the chip maker over its hungry processors if it couldn’t “drastically slash” the amount of power they demanded.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Intel’s Ultrabook director, Greg Welch, revealed that Apple executives gave the company “a real wake-up call” that prompted it to create its low-power Core processors for ultraportable notebooks like the MacBook Air.

Welch didn’t reveal when Apple’s warnings came, but back in May the company announced a revision to its product roadmap to lower the average power consumption of its chips from around 35-40 watts to just 15 watts. Changes like this mean that super small notebooks with their tiny batteries can enjoy longer runtime before you need to break out the power cord.

Intel is hoping that in addition to Apple, PC manufacturers also use the chips to create ultraportables:

“To date if you wanted that sleek design you had to buy a Mac. There are people who want a PC in that form factor.”

According to SlashGear, this isn’t the first time Apple has influenced Intel’s roadmap:

Intel has previously admitted that Apple has a strong hand in shaping its roadmap, with senior VP Tom Kilroy saying that the Cupertino company’s demands “push us hard.” The comments came on the heels of rumors that Apple might look to ARM-based chips for future notebooks, building on the success of the Apple A4 and A5 found in the iPhone and iPad.

So there you have it; without Apple’s demands, it’s possible we’d have had to wait a great deal longer for thinner, lighter notebooks with acceptable battery life.