Apple threatened to drop Intel as a component supplier unless it produced chips with drastically lower power consumption, an Intel director has admitted.
Welch said that Apple was adamant that Intel had to create chips with lower power consumption or it would lose Apple as a customer. "It was a real wake-up call to us," Welch told the WSJ.
Intel acknowledges that the Ultrabook form factor - an ultra thin-and-light laptop - is inspired by two of Apple's most innovative products of recent years, the MacBook Air and the iPad.
As a result of Apple's demands and the necessity of producing power-efficient chips for Ultrabooks, Intel aims to keep slashing the power consumption of its processors. In terms of Ultrabooks, the first generation will be based on the Sandy Bridge architecture, with a second generation built with faster, more power-efficient Ivy Bridge chips coming out earlier in 2012.
In 2013, Intel aims to cut the lower power consumption of the Ivy Bridge processors even further in its Haswell range, as well as bringing better graphics capabilities.
"The graphics engine that we're putting in here for 2013 will be integrated graphics that will be greater in performance than any currently shipping mobile discrete card on the market. It will do it at a 15-watt envelope," said Kevin Sellers, vice president of investor relations at Intel.