Apple Threatened to Abandon Intel Chips over Power Consumption

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,961
11,235






In an article from The Wall Street Journal regarding Intel's new $300 million effort to spur innovation on its "Ultrabook" platform, an Intel executive reveals that the chipmaker was driven to reduce power consumption to support such ultra-thin notebook designs by Apple. The motivation came in the form of threat by Apple to switch chip suppliers unless Intel made progress on the issue (via Daring Fireball).
The company in May announced a sharp revision in its product roadmap to lower the average power draw of its chips from a range of 35 watts to 40 watts to just 15 watts.

[Intel Ultrabook director Greg] Welch said Apple informed Intel that it better drastically slash its power consumption or would likely lose Apple's business. "It was a real wake-up call to us," he said.
The logical alternative to Intel for Apple would be AMD, which goes head-to-head against Intel in the x86 market. But Apple has also been rumored to have been considering moving to ARM-based processors, with the company also reported to have tested a MacBook Air model built around the ARM-based A5 chip used in the iPad 2. Other recent speculative reports have indicated that Apple could be working toward a merger of iOS and OS X, a process that would likely begin with Mac models like the MacBook Air that are closest to the iOS devices in terms of power and form factor.

Article Link: Apple Threatened to Abandon Intel Chips over Power Consumption
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,198
3,486
Twin Cities Minnesota
I really don't feel that AMD can scale well enough, or would want to play in an Apple ecosystem. I love AMD, but not sure it would be a good fit for Apple.

I really hope Apple doesn't burn an other bridge with a Processor manufacturer.
 

djrod

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2008
1,011
33
Madrid - Spain
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5288d Safari/7534.48.3)

Powerbook G5 all over again
 

justinfreid

macrumors 6502
Nov 24, 2009
491
4
NEW Jersey / USA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

I've made my prediction about the forthcoming "MacPad" type product that'll be ARM powered before, this lends more credence to it.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
This just shows you what lazy sloths the Win PCs makers are. It takes tiny Apple (on market share basis) to force Intel to make more efficient chips. The Win fans can hate on Apple all day, but the fact remains, but-for Apple going Intel, PC hardware would be as horrible now as they was ten years ago.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
4,185
2
Here
I really don't feel that AMD can scale well enough, or would want to play in an Apple ecosystem. I love AMD, but not sure it would be a good fit for Apple.

I really hope Apple doesn't burn an other bridge with a Processor manufacturer.
ARM is why they are threatening...A6 is supposed to be quad core right??

That would differentiate the MB (air) line from the MBP
 

iamkarlp

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2008
102
0
And now it makes sense....

The ARM rumors are real, however they are "just" Apple sharpening their axe in order to snap intel into line. It does make good business sense to keep your options open, and thats where ARM plays in.

By the same token, Apple has proved time and again they will sacrifice greatly in order to move to where they believe technology will be next. With that in mind I wouldn't ignore the possibility of Apple someday switching to ARM, but assuming Intel can hit some power targets it shouldn't be an immediate issue.

Karl P
 

shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
921
60
If ARM keeps advancing, its hard to see Apple not going to ARM for all their products. Of course, they would need to develop an Intel emulator during the transition.
 

Dwalls90

macrumors 601
Feb 5, 2009
4,939
2,334
I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with Apple, as I believe Intel could cut the TDP a tad here and there, but asking them to cut their TDP to 33% is pretty drastic. Typical Apple kicking and screaming to get what they want.

As if 7 hours isn't good or something, I know consumers want more, more, more, but somethings gotta give.

I won't be happy if they move to ARM, unless we see performance gains AND lower TDP. Otherwise, if it's not broken don't fix it.
 

citi

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2006
1,363
508
Simi Valley, CA
Sometimes I think these rumors are put out there by Apple just to ease the trauma of switching to new chips. Whichever chip that may be, in our subconscious we are already prepping for the adjustment.

I don't care what chip goes in, as long as I don't take a performance hit, and it doesn't require me to repurchase all of my software again. I don't care if there are 16 A5s soldered on, just make the thing "work".
 

grindcor

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2010
15
0
I really don't feel that AMD can scale well enough, or would want to play in an Apple ecosystem. I love AMD, but not sure it would be a good fit for Apple.

I really hope Apple doesn't burn an other bridge with a Processor manufacturer.
Agreed. I think this has more to do with the cost savings that would be gained by switching to an in-house designed A* processor made for cheap by tsmc or some foundry, even if it may compromise computing performance. The consequences for this could be drastic though for prosumer apps like in the CS5 suite because these systems are becoming increasingly demanding with such programs as Premiere and After effects not even supporting x86, much less asking them to do their programming again for low power ARM based systems.
 

res1233

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,127
0
Brooklyn, NY
I just pray they don't move to ARM processors.
You have to have an open mind about this. If ARM ever puts out a design that can compete with Intel processors in terms of performance, then why not? You know all apps will continue to run without being ported to ARM for the next 4 years or so, so I don't understand the problem. Also, windows is supposed to be ported over to ARM, so you'd still have windows compatibility.
 

Lone Deranger

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2006
1,811
2,014
Tokyo, Japan
This just shows you what lazy sloths the Win PCs makers are. It takes tiny Apple (on market share basis) to force Intel to make more efficient chips. The Win fans can hate on Apple all day, but the fact remains, but-for Apple going Intel, PC hardware would be as horrible now as they was ten years ago.
My thoughts exactly.
 

bevel

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2009
18
97
it would really suck if Apple left the x86 platform for ARM. x86 is hands down the best thing that's happened to apple in recent years.

as a developer i value power and virtualization. you can't beat being able to concurrently run several versions of windows for testing purposes. plus the new sandy bridge macbook pros scream and are actually very good value when looking at similarly spec'd other brands.

i really don't miss the days of slow and expensive PowerPC systems (yes i know the benchmarks claimed they were faster). moving to ARM arch would really be a bad move.

AMD however - no probs there other than speed - but that might change.
 

lilo777

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2009
5,144
0
Intel does not really care that much about Apple with their 5% Worldwide PC share (way behind real computer companies). Not just that, they mostly buy Intel's cheapest chips (they do not produce servers).
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.