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We attended Intel's cooling presentation this morning.

Intel's engineer complains that Apple is more concerned about making its products pretty than fixing their overheating problems.
What can Intel do to stop companies like Apple from selling overheating designs? "Nothing", presenter says.

In the quick IDF 2011 notes category, we wanted to share a humorous exchange we had with an Intel Corp. (INTC) engineer.  Joshua Linden-Levy is a "Mechanical Pathfinding Engineer" at Intel and delivered a terrific presentation on cooling in Oak Trail, the Intel Atom platform that replaces Pine Trail.

In the presentation Mr. Linden-Levy discussed how the target temperature for laptops was 58 Celsius, according to industry standards.  Given the high temperatures long suffered by various editions of Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) MacBook Pros, we wanted to ask him how Intel plans to keep its partners (like Apple) from violating the proposed thermal guidelines on Oak Trail and its other product lines (Apple is unlikely to use Oak Trail, but typically uses other Intel's mainstream notebook and desktop processor lines in its models).

During the Q&A session Mr. Linden-Levy acknowledged hearing about Apple's laptop thermal issues.  What can Intel do prevent partners from committing such thermal botch jobs?  "Nothing," says Mr. Linden-Levy, "[the manufacturer will] just get a bad reputation among consumers."

As we discussed the issue further he added, "Well as you know, with Apple their chief priority is always form and looks -- everything else, including cooling design is an afterthought."

We found the presenter's informed, earnest unscripted dialogue about one of his company's largest partners refreshing.

Currently the thermal problem-plagued MacBook Pro models sell for almost twice the price of comparable hardware models from ASUSTEK Computer Inc. (TPE:2357).  Of course ASUSTEK's laptops lack the special aluminum unibody -- but when that unibody can get as hot as 100 degrees Celsius, it's hardly a selling point.

To be fair, less pricey models from 
Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) and Dell, Inc. (DELLhave suffered from similar issues [1][2].  Unlike these companies, though, Apple often refuses to recall or fully patch its faulty products.


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Sour Grapes?
By KPOM1 on 9/14/2011 11:44:51 PM , Rating: -1
Perhaps this engineer is just frustrated that because of Apple and its threat to move to ARM chips Intel has spent much of the last 2 years (and is spending much of the next 2) working to reduce the TDP of their mobile processors from today's 35-45W to Haswell's 10-20W? They actively sought and won Apple's business in the first place in 2005 because IBM couldn't produce a PowerPC G5 at less than a ridiculous TDP near 100W.

In the end, we all benefit since with Haswell we'll get desktop-class power from Ultrabook-class processors, and long battery life to boot. It's even more "green."




RE: Sour Grapes?
By FITCamaro on 9/15/2011 7:20:32 AM , Rating: 1
Apple moving to ARM for its notebooks and desktops would be a joke. ARM may be great for battery life and it may be adequate for surfing the net and watching Youtube, but they would lose their following that likes to do video editting, photo editting, and coding. It is not nearly fast enough to keep up with x86 CPUs.

Not to mention that you'd once again break everyone's applications or slow them down to a crawl with a VM environment.


RE: Sour Grapes?
By KPOM1 on 9/15/2011 11:26:45 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Apple moving to ARM for its notebooks and desktops would be a joke. ARM may be great for battery life and it may be adequate for surfing the net and watching Youtube, but they would lose their following that likes to do video editting, photo editting, and coding. It is not nearly fast enough to keep up with x86 CPUs.


I didn't say they would switch today, or that it would be on all of their products. However, even Microsoft is designing Windows 8 to run on ARM, so apparently they aren't worried about breaking compatibility.

The specific rumor was that Apple had produced a working version of the MacBook Air running on an ARM chip to see how OS X would perform, and that it performed better than they expected, which gave them leverage with Intel. Windows 8 on ARM is an even bigger issue for Intel. It's no accident that Intel dramatically reduced the TDP of Haswell chips. It's a major change in their design philosophy.


RE: Sour Grapes?
By FITCamaro on 9/15/2011 9:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's goal is to run on everything. Not lock people into one architecture or another. Apple's goal is to hold Intel hostage to their demands under the threat of moving off of it.


"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay














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