Qualcomm Calls A7 CPU in iPhone 5S a "Gimmick" but Hints at its own 64-bit Chip
A senior vice president for Apple supplier Qualcomm recently said the 64-bit A7 chip in Apple’s iPhone 5S is more of a marketing gimmick than a development that will lead to real consumer benefits. At the same time, it appears to hint that the chip maker is planning a future 64-bit processor of its own. Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm said the following in an interview with TechWorld
I know there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7. I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that.
Apple has played up the possibilities inherent with a 64-bit mobile processor saying that 64-bit apps “almost always” run better on such architecture. The claims though, have been met with skepticism from many in the tech industry with Chandrasekher being the latest among those. The Qualcomm VP pointed out that 64-bit processors are almost useful in addressing memory quantities above 4 GB whereas the iPhone 5S has only 1 GB of RAM. As noted by Chandrasekher, consumer performance would be largely unaffected as the use cases most in need of 64-bit are large, server-class applications.
At the same time, Chandrasekher seemed to hint that Qualcomm which supplies the LTE chips used inside Apple’s mobile devices would itself be rolling out a 64-bit mobile processor at some point in the future. He continued by saying the following:
From an engineering efficiency standpoint it just makes sense to do that. Particularly the OS guys will want it at some point in time.
Google’s Android platform is also rumored to be moving to a 64-bit build in the future though we don’t know exactly when that might happen. Android is based on Linux and some observers note that there shouldn’t be any special development process necessary to tweak the platform to handle 64-bit processing power. Samsung, which is Apple’s biggest rival, has already promised 64-bit chips for next year’s line of flagship devices. We’ll have to wait and see what these tech giants do with their next-gen product lineup.