To allow the 4GHz Core i7 processor to operate on motherboards with the existing 9 Series chipset, Intel engineers had to clear two major technological hurdles: how to deliver more power and how to remove the heat that would be generated as a result. Speaking with the CRN Test Center in a confidential briefing, Lisa Graff, Intel's vice president and general manager of desktop client platforms, said, "They added a huge number of capacitors on the underside of the die to to crank up the power and provide a smooth power delivery into the die. And the second thing was to handle the thermals." That required the development of the so-called Next-Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM), a long way of describing an all-new thermal conductive paste. "These souped-up materials work with existing cooling systems packages and sockets," she said.
Combine a tech market that is rapidly discarding old business models with the damage done by a rogue former government contractor and you have what may well be the most treacherous terrain ever faced by technology CEOs.