A couple of months back rumors started circulating that Apple is developing a completely new MacBook Air model, one that’s going to split the existing lineup right through the middle. Apparently its a 12-inch Retina display touting Air that’s even slimmer due to its fanless design. With Intel’s announcement of the latest Broadwell chip yesterday, that’s certainly a possibility.

According to the chipmaker its Core M processor will deliver “the most energy-efficient Intel Core processor” ever. It also adds that most of the products that will be based on this new chip are expected to be fanless. Devices built using the Broadwell chip are expected to hit the market later this year.

Intel showed off a reference PC design built around the Broadwell processor, a 12.5-inch tablet prototype that’s merely 7.2mm thick and doesn’t require a fan for cooling.

If Apple wants to use this chip to build a 12-inch fanless MacBook Air, it certainly can get its hands on it. Existing Air models are powered by Intel’s latest Haswell processors so its not like Apple and Intel need to create a new relationship.

The question remains though, does Apple want to build a 12-inch MacBook Air without a fan? It wouldn’t want to compromise on battery life, which is presumably why the Retina display has eluded the Air for all this time. Moreover it would probably like to prioritize performance so dumping fans might not be on the top of its list.

Even though there are countless rumors that suggest otherwise it very likely that Apple might not go down this path, at least for the time being. That’s the thing with rumors, you can’t ever be really sure.

Filed in Apple >Computers. Read more about and .

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