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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.



From MacRumors:
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.
  Apple Threatened to Abandon Intel Chips over Power Consumption