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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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Flogging a dead horse
By AngelOfTheAbyss on 10/9/2013 9:45:42 AM , Rating: 5
ARMv8 is not an instruction set, it's an architecture.
According to ARM, "The ARMv8 architecture introduces 64-bit support to the ARM architecture with a focus on power-efficient implementation while maintaining compatibility with existing 32-bit software."
ARMv8 includes a number of improvements over ARMv7 that indeed improves performance, e.g. more registers.
What Apple has done is simply preparing for the future, while at the same time having improved performance of existing 32bit code.
It's called being ahead of the curve.
Samsung and Qualcomm will soon follow suit.

RE: Flogging a dead horse
By testbug00 on 10/9/2013 10:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, ARMv8 is both, I believe (will double check with friend from ARM)

Apple made a custom chip that uses the ARMv8 as an "instruction set" so to speak.


RE: Flogging a dead horse
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/9/2013 11:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
ARM is an architecture that includes both 32 and 64-bit instruction sets.

It is the blueprint that allows multiple processor vendors (i.e. Qualcomm, nVidia, Motorola) to create processor cores that can execute the same applications without requiring system-specific binaries.

Here is a white paper from ARM themselves (the best source) on the topic of ARMv8.

Think of ARMv8 as a hardware version of the .NET or java virtual machine. In the case of Java, it is a strict specification. There are 2 companies I know of that implement that specification - Oracle and IBM. Both are designed to run the same binaries (bytecode) without recompiling, because they are both designed to operate the same way. They only do it using slightly different underlying internal implementations.

In ARM, Instead of being a system-specific software-based runtime interpreter, hardware chip makers implement the ARM virtual machine specification in silicon - registers, instructions and all.

RE: Flogging a dead horse
By dgingerich on 10/9/2013 1:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Also included in that architecture are certain mandated specs for processors, including the number of registers of each type it must have and how it behaves with external devices, such as modem chips. It can't be called ARMv8 compatible without meeting those, no matter if the instruction set is followed.

So, it is far more than just an instruction set.

RE: Flogging a dead horse
By rocketbuddha on 10/9/2013 1:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct. ARMv8 ISA is the 64 bit ARM architecture.

Qualcomm, Marvell have for a while licensed the architecture and released their own ISA compatible chips with them.

Since the Scorpion core days, QC has been a ISA licensee rather than a core licensee. Of course occasionally they have some SOCs pop up as a core license like their S4 Play series of 2012 which contained dual Cortex A5 core bases SOC.

Till the A6 CPU family aka "Swift" Apple was a core-licensee with ARM. Since then they became a ISA licensee and putting their own cores like QCOM.
A7 is their chip that is 64bit capable running ARMV8 ISA.

Invariably QC will have their 64 bit ready chips soon. So Anand's bad mouthing would make their talking points harder :D

Samsung, AMD, MediaTek, TI etc will be the ARM A57/A53 core-licensees.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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