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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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Apple has earned some respect for arch transitions
By Guspaz on 10/9/2013 11:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
Apple has moved a major platform between completely incompatible micro-architectures not once, but twice now (68K to PPC, PPC to x86), not to mention all the smaller changes (like x86 to x64). These transitions have generally been painless and smooth, to the extent that external observerse are surprised at how smoothly it went.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that Apple knows what they're doing when it comes to this, cut them some slack.




By dgingerich on 10/9/2013 1:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to pick nits here, but Apple never made the transition from x86 to x64. Intel's chips were already 64-bit (Core2 series) at the time they moved to them, and OSX was already written to take advantage of 64-bit code at the time. The 32-bit to 64-bit transition took place during the PPC/MacOS 9 days. IIRC, OSX was written 64-bit PPC originally, but I might be wrong on that.

It's not necessarily a criticism against you personally. I just wanted to make sure others who come across this info understood that. Not a big deal.


By Argon18 on 10/9/2013 2:25:32 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong. Do your homework. The first generation of intel Macs in 2006 was 32 bit only. It was the Core Duo and Core Solo. 32 bit chip running a 32 bit OS.

It wasn't until a year or two later, when Apple moved to the Core 2 Duo that they moved to 64 bit.

So yes, Apple did indeed do through a 32 bit to 64 bit migration while on intel.


By Argon18 on 10/9/2013 2:30:54 PM , Rating: 1
If you want to pick nits and be accurate about it, point out his erroneous use of x64. x86-64 is NOT the same thing as x64!

intel x64 = intel IA64 = intel Itanium

AMD x86-64 = AMD64
intel x86-64 = intel EM64t

What we call x86-64 today was invented by AMD. AMD called it AMD64. It was AMD's answer to the intel Itanium, and Itanium was intel's answer to 64 bits. We all know what a market failure Itanium has been, and AMD scored big success with their AMD64 Opteron chips. Intel saw that, and copied them, creating their own version of AMD64 called intel EM64t.

So EM64t is intel and AMD64 is AMD, and both are referred to with the vendor-neutral term x86-64.


By dgingerich on 10/9/2013 2:38:27 PM , Rating: 3
x64 is shorthand for x86-64, which include EM64t and AMD64.

IA64 is shorthand for Itanium, which is the devil's work. I would never advocate it, nor do I prefer to even name it unless absolutely necessary, lest I be cursed by it again. There was no reference to it at all in my previous post.

I know, these abbreviations are confusing at times.


By Guspaz on 10/9/2013 6:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
x64 is universally understood to be shorthand for x86-64. x64 has never been used to refer to the IA-64 architecture either formally or informally. A bit of googling should make this abundantly clear.


By danbob999 on 10/9/2013 10:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
x64 is an oddity created by Microsoft. The rest of the world used AMD64 or the more neutral x86-64.


By Guspaz on 10/9/2013 6:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
As was pointed out, Apple did not transition directly from PowerPC to x64; their first Intel macs used 32-bit chips (the original Core). This transition happened later, first via the introduction of a 64-bit Xeon, and then by the introduction of the Core 2.


By superstition on 10/10/2013 11:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_Server_1.0

"OS X Server 1.x" complicates matters as well. It was supposed to be a server OS, but was released for desktop equipment and could run the classic Mac OS in emulation.

It was OpenStep/Rhapsody, a bridge between the classic Mac OS and OS X 10.x. The worst aspect of it was that it didn't even support Apple's own firewire, making it completely incompatible with the snazzy product, the SanCube, that came out around the same time.


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