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Samsung also is eyeing Cortex-M processors for its Smart TVs and appliances

Two of the smartphone market's biggest powers met this week to discuss processors.  UK-based ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM), an architecture company whose titular instruction set is found in 95 percent of smartphones sold today, traveled to South Korea, the home turf of Android phonemaker South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).  Samsung accounted for over 30 percent of global smartphone shipments in Q3 -- nearly three times more than any other OEM.
 
Samsung and ARM met to discuss the adoption of ARM's new ARMv8 64-bit instruction set, which Samsung's upcoming Exynos 6 processors for next year's Galaxy S5 is expected to use.  Antonio Viana, ARM’s executive vice president of commercial and global development, met with senior Samsung executives to talk about the roadmap to 64-bit and beyond.
 
An unnamed senior manager at ARM with knowledge of the meeting suggested 128-bit chips might also have been discussed.  While PC CPUs have yet to hit 128-bit, The Korea Herald quotes the senior ARM executive as saying there was a "possibility" that ARM would release a 128-bit instruction set in the next two years and push for smartphone/tablet adoption.  But the Korean publication says the ARM official said these plans were only a "possibility" and not a definite plan at present.
 
Exynos
Samsung wants to make sure that its Exynos chips for next year's Galaxy S5 have access to ARM's best instruction set -- the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set.

The official is quoted as suggesting that smartphones soon may have more than 4 GB of memory and need 64-bit processors to address their memory.  The source stated, "As technology moves from, for example, shifting to face recognition on smartphones from the fingerprint scanner to unlock an iPhone, it requires more powerful memory capacity."
 
It also appears that ARM is incentivizing the transition to 64-bit ARM chips in the mobile market, in part, to fuel its server ambitions, as well as its PC push.  
 
While 64-bit chips offer some gains in graphics and I/O addition to the aforementioned memory addressing gains, processing is generally otherwise unaffected.  However, ARM is purposefully tilting the playing field in 64-bit's flavor by designing its new instruction sets -- which allow more registers -- to only work for 64-bit chips.  32-bit chips will be forced to use the older, less optimized ARMv7.  In other words, ARM is telling mobile chipmakers to make the switch or settle with last generation instruction sets.
 
This push will allow ARM to foster an ecosystem of compatible applications, which may help the chip designer to push into the PC and server markets, two key areas of desired growth.

Cortex M
Samsung may look to use the Cortex M chips in new appliances.

Samsung and ARM also reportedly discussed the Cortex-M processor, a low power core design which Samsung may look to use in its appliances and Smart TVs.

Source: The Korea Herald



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Look who's playing catchup now...
By lawrance on 11/21/2013 8:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the reason for 64 bit architecture is to keep up with Apple, who's had a 64 bit phone on the market for over 2 months already. The difference with Apple is they actually have a reason: They redesigned iOS7 as a 64 bit operating system to be more compatible with the desktop apps.

Apple is now making the iPad apps compatible with their desktop counterparts and vice versa. iLife, iWork, Maps etc can now be opened on either platform with no compatibility issues and no conversion necessary. With the documents stored on iCloud and complete compatibility whether using an iPhone, iPad or Macbook, is a pretty sweet workflow. I'm getting to the point where I can leave my Macbook Pro at home or my office and just use an iPad out on the road without missing a beat.




RE: Look who's playing catchup now...
By inighthawki on 11/21/2013 10:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
64-bit has nothing to do with compatibility. Programs are written in C++ and Objective C, and the compiler takes care of all the differences between 32 and 64 bit. A 32bit and 64bit version of the same application should maintain 100% compatibility with each other.


RE: Look who's playing catchup now...
By Argon18 on 11/22/2013 12:21:58 PM , Rating: 1
If you think that taking source code originally written for a 32 bit system, and running it through a 64 bit compiler is all that's required to "go 64-bit", you are very mistaken.

Perhaps that works with a "hello world" application, but not with anything as large and complex as an operating system.


By inighthawki on 11/22/2013 3:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
No of course not, that is not at all what I meant, not even remotely. Reading his post, it seemed to heavily imply that 32-bit or 64-bit binaries played a role in the compatibility between applications, as if saving a document on a 32-bit version would not work on a 64-bit version.

On top of that, if that was true, it still wouldn't work because one is ARM and on is x64.


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