It's been a year since Apple announced plans to use Intel processors in its computers, and the Cupertino-based company is pushing the world's largest chip maker in new directions, according to a top Intel executive.
"They push us to think about things that we may not always think about," said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's sales and marketing group. "We were hoping for that to happen, and that certainly happened."
Apple's view of how the computer market will evolve has influenced Intel's product road map, Chandrasekher said. That effect will be felt over the long term, rather than show up soon, he said.
Chandrasekher declined to give specific examples of how Apple had influenced the road map. His comments came during the Computex show, which runs through Saturday.
One area of importance to Apple is heat dissipation. Intel's ability to deliver mobile chips that consume less power while offering better performance was one of the reasons that convinced Apple to make the switch from IBM's rival PowerPC chips.
Prior to that decision, IBM and Freescale Semiconductor, which also supplied PowerPC chips to Apple, had been unable to produce more powerful mobile processors that met the computer maker's heat requirements. As a result, Apple could not refresh its product line with faster and more powerful notebook PC models, creating an opportunity for Intel.
Apple's demand for processors that produce less heat has been felt at Intel. "You can anticipate that they probably pushed us on packaging and thermals and things like that," Chandrasekher said.
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