Apple last night confirmed its purchase of PA Semi, but declined to offer any further information on the deal - meanwhile it has emerged that the deal could still be scuppered by the US military.

Apple's purchase of PA Semi emerged last night, with a later report claiming that the US Department of Defense (DoD) could still block the deal because PA Semi's PWRficient processor "is designed into Department of Defense programs in every major branch of the armed services," according to EE Times.

The report further claims the source anticipates Apple will cease production of the parts ordered by the DoD, which are specified for "more than ten" defence systems. One of the military applications of the chip will apparently use 70,000 of the chips across the next decade, the report said. Users include Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

"I've never seen such fast adoption of a product in the mil/aero world," said the source, who asked not to be named. "Typically users in this area take a wait-and-see approach on new products, but that didn't happen this time," he added.

The PWRficient processor is a dual-core, 64-bit chip based on the PowerPC architecture. It uses just 15-watts of power while running at 2GHz, meaning power savings of as much as 30 per cent in comparison to other available processors.

PA Semi yesterday informed its customers it was being acquired and it could no longer guarantee supplies of its chips. Apple has reportedly offered $278 million for the company.