Qualcomm exec dubs Apple’s 64-bit A7 a “marketing gimmick” [Updated]

October 2, 2013
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Apple created some buzz when they announced the 64-bit A7 processor in the iPhone 5s and as we later learned, similar support may not be all that far off for Android. In fact, Samsung, by way of the Korean press, confirmed they would have smartphones with 64-bit processors in the future. Samsung did not offer specifics in terms of the processor at the time, however a recent report from Tech World has revealed that Qualcomm is working on such a chip.

Aside from the confirmation in terms of the chip, a Qualcomm exec also took the opportunity to open up about Apple. Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm touched on how "there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7" and went on to call it a "marketing gimmick."

Chandrasekher also said "there's zero benefit a consumer gets from that." Anyway, while he did a bit of Apple bashing here, there was also some further discussion in terms of why he made these comments. He went on to speak about how a big benefit of 64-bit is added memory addressability. He touched on how the iPhone 5s only has 1GB of RAM, but also clarified that "predominantly... you need it for memory addressability beyond 4GB." And as we have all likely seen, that doesn't really apply in the current tablet and smartphone space.

But in the end, while 64-bit support in Android may not be all that far out, Chandrasekher would not comment in terms of when we can expect this from Qualcomm. Instead he mentioned how he believes the drive to demand 64-bit chips will not come from consumers or tablet and smartphone makers, but instead that it will arrive because it will be "beneficial from engineering, chip design and OSes standpoints."

[Update] In regards to the earlier comments, a Qualcomm spokesperson has reached out with an update;

"The comments made by Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm CMO, about 64-bit computing were inaccurate. The mobile hardware and software ecosystem is already moving in the direction of 64-bit; and, the evolution to 64-bit brings desktop class capabilities and user experiences to mobile, as well as enabling mobile processors and software to run new classes of computing devices."


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  • Robin

    Exactly. When PCs made the leap to 64-bit, nobody cared. It’s an engineering scalability issue. Future-proofing. Being the first to futureproof is meaningless. For example, no one got extra credit for being the first to be Y2K compliant. The fact that Apple mentioned 64-bit as a selling point makes it 100% a marketing gimmick.

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    I’m no Apple fanboy, but they’re matching the Nexus 5 in benchmarks, albeit at a much higher price, so their not taking any performance hit from going chip, OS, core apps 64 bit, still a lousy amount of RAM though. 1 GB what a joke, they could have put 5 GB in and we would have cringed in shame, Note 3 has 3 times as much RAM as iPhone 5s uses, how sad, another missed opportunity for Apple, RAM is so cheap, especially wholesale. Think of how it would have killed in gaming, you watch when we go 64 bit, which won’t be long now, Samsung made their chip for them, they almost certainly used a modified ARM 64 bit micro architecture. Android will be 64 bit in no time, we’ve been planning this for ages, Samsung also makes RAM, hence the 3 GB RAM in Note 3, it’s unlikely but what if Nexus 5 had 64 bit, Kit Kat has a 64 bit version and 5 GB of RAM. Being able to say we have 5 times the RAM, would make Apple look like fools, Nexus 4 has twice the RAM of iPhone 5s and it’s 12 months old, generally RAM doubles every 12 months, look at the Nexus 7 FHDs 400% better graphics in just a 15 months.

  • JayQ330

    64 bit wide CPU’s for tiny doc’s running tiny app’s, boy programs.I think that add people use bigger screens that demand more memory for on screen visuals with apps doing more than one operation is when we’ll need more ram & maybe move on from 32 bit data. One cold wagon beetle won’t benefit from a 3 lane highway, because for one it’s slow & 2 it’s tiny, but 6 BMW 760I’S would benefit because they’re fast big & could actually make use if the lanes… Right now what phone app’s are that 1 VW beetle on the 3 lane highway, no bright at ask until the time we use some real big app’s.