Apple to use its own CPUs in future iMac and MacBooks?

Is Project Aquarius behind Apple's ambition to get its own CPU?
Is Project Aquarius behind Apple's ambition to get its own CPU?

A report published by analyst firm KGI claims that Apple will use its own processors in at least one Mac device in 2016 with 9to5Mac suggesting that it might be a future iteration of the yet-to-be-released 12-inch MacBook Air.

Analysts for the firm reckon that the application processors, which will be replacing Intel's own, would perform at a level between Intel's current Bay Trail-based Atom and the Core i3.

All MacBook Air laptops currently use the more powerful Core i5 and while it would make sense for Apple to switch to its own Ax-based AP to control its own destiny, it needs to do so without alienating its legacy users.

The shadows of Project Aquarius

Samsung is expected to be the foundry fabricating these processors and KGI claims that it will be using a yet-to-be released 10nm FinFET process.

If the claims are true, 2016 will mark a milestone in Apple's history as it will be the 30th anniversary of Project Aquarius, a failed attempt by Apple in the late 1980's to create a quad-core CPU to be used in its Mac computers.

Over the past few years, the company has acquired two semiconductor companies (PA Semi and Intrinsity) as well as investing massively in Imagination Technologies.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.