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Anand Chandrasekher
A spokesperson said the statements were "inaccurate"

Qualcomm suddenly has an about-face regarding Apple's 64-bit A7 processor, which a company executive called a "marketing gimmick" just last week.

Anand Chandrasekher -- senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm -- said last week that Apple's 64-bit processor in the new iPhone 5S doesn't offer a big enough reason for consumers to upgrade because 64-bit chips are needed for memory addressability beyond 4GB, and the iPhone 5S has only 1GB of DRAM. Hence, he concluded that 64-bit processors are not relevant in today's smartphones and tablets. 

"I know there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7," said Chandrasekher. "I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that."

However, Qualcomm is backtracking on those comments and now says that 64-bit processors are a necessary part of the future of mobile computing. 

“The comments made by Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm CMO, about 64-bit computing were inaccurate,” said a Qualcomm spokesperson. “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.”

Qualcomm works closely with Apple and supplies modems for iPhones and iPads. Also, both companies design chips based on ARM architecture. 

More specifically, the A7 chip is based on the ARMv8 instruction set, which is said to boost performance through quicker mathematical and security tasks. It also eliminates the inefficiencies in older ARM instructions, but some wonder how much credit the 64-bit processor can take for the heightened performance. 

Apple released its iPhone 5S last month, which runs $199/$299/$399 for 16GB/32GB/64GB respectively. 

Qualcomm provides its Snapdragon chips for Android and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets. It even plans to continue investing in chips made for Windows RT, which is a mobile version of Windows 8 that runs on ARM-based chips and has been criticized for failing to produce a full Windows 8 experience (it can't run legacy apps).  

Qualcomm said it plans to offer a 64-bit processor in the future to keep up with chip designs and even cut manufacturing costs, but there's no set release date.

Source: TechHive



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Bla, bla
By bug77 on 10/9/2013 8:43:58 AM , Rating: -1
5s is a phone you can buy now and which will never get more RAM. It is not the future. 64bit processing on this particular model (which what the guy was talking about in the first place) is a gimmick.




RE: Bla, bla
By Wolfpup on 10/9/2013 9:38:49 AM , Rating: 2
That's probably more or less true, although it does apparently have other advantages, and does allow Apple to work out bugs, start their 64-bit version of the OS and programs now.

Also it's *possible* they may release some iOS device running this or a similar SOC with 4GB. There's a rumored 13" iOS device, which I could see possibly having a keyboard of some sort and 4GB.


RE: Bla, bla
By lelias2k on 10/9/2013 9:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
You can't wait until the new technology is needed to deploy it into the market.

The same way that 64-bit wasn't, and for many still isn't, necessary on the desktop, the future eventually will require it. By then, because it has been on the market for a while, companies will know how the hardware and software works, how to optimize it, what mistakes to avoid, etc.

You have to be really short-sighted to think that 64-bit on mobile is JUST a "marketing gimmick."


RE: Bla, bla
By retrospooty on 10/9/2013 10:15:45 AM , Rating: 2
Not a "Gimmick" more of a future proof move. Not much benefit today in this iPhone, but better to be ready than playing catch up later when the benefits might matter.


RE: Bla, bla
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/9/2013 11:26:47 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Also developers can't develop applications for a platform that doesn't exist. The 64-bit platform has to be well established and in place before developers will commit resources to developing for it.

In the case of the iPhone (and later on other phone makers as they release their 64-bit hardware), it is that line in the sand that tells developers that there is a market for 64-bit applications.


RE: Bla, bla
By augiem on 10/9/2013 2:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is you guys are looking at this from the business and future tech perspective. Apple's pushing of the 64-bit thing is directed at the consumer, in reference to the 5S, NOW. Bragging about 64-bit now in the context of the iPhone 5 IS just marketing. Why should they be bragging about their future business strategy during the consumer release of their phone and with all the other bullet points as to why you should buy the latest version? There's no reason to do so except to cash in on the "64 is better than 32" mentality of the public. Sure, in an investor presentation it would make sense to go on about the future tech for the next 10 generations of devices, but that's not what they're doing.


RE: Bla, bla
By retrospooty on 10/9/2013 5:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Today it is just fluff. Everything on a phone is geared to be small and efficient and doesn't benefit from 64 bit today.


RE: Bla, bla
By bug77 on 10/9/2013 10:58:37 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You can't wait until the new technology is needed to deploy it into the market.


And I agree with that 100%.
I only argued that the guy said 64bit is a gimmick for 5s. Which it is.


RE: Bla, bla
By Flunk on 10/9/2013 10:19:56 AM , Rating: 2
64-bit ARM has more registers than 32-bit ARM, that alone is enough to warrant the change. There are some more subtle advantages as well. Sure it's not revolutionary, but it does improve performance.


RE: Bla, bla
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/9/2013 11:43:46 AM , Rating: 2
AArch64 (the ARMv8 64-bit personality) has 31 general purpose registers.

AArch32 (the ARMv8 32-bit personality) has 13 general purpose registers and appears to software almost exactly like an ARMv7 processor.

AArch32 is mapped on top of the AArch64 physical hardware and ignores the upper 32-bits of all registers. This is necessary to maintain compatibility with older applications compiled under ARMv7 or earlier specifications.


RE: Bla, bla
By Guspaz on 10/9/2013 6:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm not familiar with the ARM instruction set specifically (only MIPS and x86), I would be very surprised if it would break backwards compatibility if AArch32 included 31 general purpose registers; having extra registers that the software doesn't use shouldn't cause any issues.


RE: Bla, bla
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/9/2013 9:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
Probably not break existing apps, but it would open a hole for possible ARMc8 version-specific 32-bit 'hybrid' apps which can be a platform architect's nightmare.

However there is an A32 mode of the AArch64 'personality' that does allow hybrid-like 32-bit apps running in the 64-bit world (and that can use all of the ARM registers).

If you are interested in learning more about ARMv8, here are a couple of links to some technical info

High-level architecture:
http://www.arm.com/files/downloads/ARMv8_Architect...

This one gets into deeper detail:
http://infocenter.arm.com/help/topic/com.arm.doc.d...

Both links point at ARM's PDFs,


RE: Bla, bla
By Tony Swash on 10/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bla, bla
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/9/2013 11:01:31 AM , Rating: 2
There are only a few places where ARMv8 based processors get a significant increase in speed. Most of these places are due to the new instructions added to the ARMv8 spec rather than bitness.

One place that can 64-bit can improve is data movement operations where data is placed in a register while being transitioned from source to destination. This is a direct result of 64-bit wide general purpose data, instruction pointer, stack pointer and index pointer registers being able to move double the data in the same amount of time in comparison to a 32-bit architecture.

Note also that the majority of this improvement will only be seen under AArch64 applications. If you are running 32-bit AARch32 applications on this platform (the vast majority of applications offered in the Apple store), you will see NO significant performance improvements at all.


RE: Bla, bla
By bug77 on 10/9/2013 11:04:37 AM , Rating: 3
"the huge leap in speed it achieved" also don't have anything to do with 64bit. Those tricks don't work on me.


RE: Bla, bla
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/9/2013 11:22:35 AM , Rating: 2
There are places where 64-bitness of the ARMv8 data and pointer registers of ARMv8 that can provide up to a double speed increase, and there also are new instructions in AArch64 that make a big difference in specific operations such as encoding/decoding (though these really are not tied to the bit-ness of the processor).

But that is where it stops. AND you won't get those benefits without applications that are compiled to use AArch64. The vast majority of applications in both Apple and Google Play stores are and will be 32-bit (AArch32) applications for the foreseeable future. AArch32 is relatively unchanged to prevent anomalies from creeping into running those existing 32-bit applications.


RE: Bla, bla
By Tony Swash on 10/9/13, Rating: 0
RE: Bla, bla
By Argon18 on 10/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: Bla, bla
By Argon18 on 10/9/13, Rating: -1
RE: Bla, bla
By ProtonBadger on 10/9/2013 2:50:01 PM , Rating: 3
I usually ignore kids using the words "wintards", "fandroids", "isheep", etc. because tech religion is silly and they all make good products, but anyway: Microsoft have been doing very badly in the smartphone market for more than ten years and never stopped putting resources into further development nonetheless. They are astonishingly stubborn. Let's see what a new CEO will do...


RE: Bla, bla
By ProtonBadger on 10/9/2013 2:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well, somewhat true, all these companies (Apple, Samsung, MS, et al.) have hyperactive marketing depts.

However 64bit came for free with finally moving to Armv8 so there is that.

Also it's really nice to be able to mmap big files directly from flash, Address Space Layout Randomization suddenly becomes effective instead of a gimmick, and they can use the same SoC on other devices, like AppleTV where it can allow for more than ~3GB RAM+IO mapped devices (and mmap of eg media files).


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