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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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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:

This one gets into deeper detail:

Both links point at ARM's PDFs,

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