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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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By laweijfmvo on 10/9/2013 11:42:04 AM , Rating: 2
32bit ARM can address 1TB of memory. this should be in bold type in every article. 32bit processes can only address a 4gb virtual address space, but no single process running on a phone needs it. apple has a soft limit (256mb, i think?) on their processes, it's no where near 4gb.

enterprise use of ARM may require more than 1tb of ram and 4gb of address space, but not phones. 64bit is just one of the many architectural enchancements to ARMv8, which together are necessary for the future.

RE: please
By Argon18 on 10/9/2013 2:36:21 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, most 32 bit architectures have a mechanism to allow them to address more than 4 GB of RAM. MIPS, SPARC, x86, etc. Heck I was running an intel PIII @ 600 Mhz with 8 GB of RAM, and that was a decade ago.

On x86 that mechanism is called PAE. Physical Address Extension. Linux has had PAE support since the 1990's, which is how I used 8 GB on a Pentium 3 so long ago.

Windows on the other hand, has been artifically crippled by Microsoft. Only the server versions have PAE support. Microsoft crippled all 32 bit desktop versions of Windows by stripping away the PAE support. This is the reason for the "4 GB barrier" on 32 bit Windows peecees.

RE: please
By superstition on 10/10/2013 11:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting blast from the past about this:

One developer we consulted about the issue noted, "consumers are being scammed by [PC] OEMs on a large scale. OEMs will encourage customers to upgrade a 2GB machine to 4GB, even though the usable RAM might be limited to 2.3GB.

This is especially a problem on high-end gaming machines that have huge graphics cards as well as lots of RAM." "Microsoft even changed the way the OS reports the amount of RAM available; rumor is, due to pressure from OEMs," the developer told us. "In Vista and prior, it reported usable RAM, while in SP1 they changed it to report installed RAM ignoring the fact that much of the RAM was unusable due to overlap with video memory." And so many PC users are installing 4GB of RAM in their PCs and thinking that it is being used by the system, when in fact it is no more beneficial than if the RAM were simply poked halfway into the CD slot.

For example, Dell's top of the line $5799 Alienware gamer PC comes standard with a 1GB video card, 2GB of RAM, and 32-bit Windows Home Premium. That means the system can only possibly use 2.3GB of RAM, but Dell "recommends" users spend $250 (or $8 per month with financing) to buy a 4GB upgrade (below) that will offer them little more than bragging rights, as the 1GB video card and the roughly 750MB of other MMIO will make the extra 2GB unusable. Dell says "Upgrading your memory allows you to take full advantage of system capabilities as well as increasing system efficiency," but that's simply not true on this page.

RE: please
By Guspaz on 10/9/2013 6:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between usable address space and actually consumed memory. Try using mmap on a 5GB file on a 32-bit architecture. This consumes only as much ram as you actually read (in other words, none at first), but requires as much virtual address space as the file's size.

There are other examples, of course, but the point is that the virtual address space is in many instances more important than the total amount of addressable RAM.

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