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Qualcomm retracts 'marketing gimmick' comment about Apple A7 chip

updated 12:59 pm EDT, Wed October 9, 2013

Says industry 'moving in the direction of 64-bit'

Qualcomm's PR department has issued a statement retracting a recent jab at Apple's A7 processor, made by chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher. In an interview with IDG News last week, Chandrasekher called the A7's 64-bit architecture a "marketing gimmick," arguing that it has little to no benefit for the public at the moment. "Predominantly need it [64-bit] for memory addressability beyond 4GB [the iPhone 5s has 1GB of RAM]. That's it. You don't really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications."

The PR statement says that Chandrasekher's comments were incorrect. "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 device," the company writes.

The A7 is the first processor in a mass-market cellphone to make the switch to 64-bit. Developers must specifically code iOS apps to exploit it, though, and 64-bit apps are not yet backwards compatible with iOS 6, since hybrid binaries haven't been enabled. Apple is expected to bring variants of the A7 to the iPad and iPad mini later this month.

Qualcomm has strong financial incentives to alter its PR message. The company has long been an Apple supplier, manufacturing the wireless receivers used in iPhones and iPads.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rtamesis

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-10-00

    Someone at Qualcomm got taken back to the woodshed.

  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    On what planet would an upgrade from 32-bit processing to 64-bit processing be a gimmick? Memory is not the issue. It's all about processing bandwidth. The greater the data bandwidth, the greater the processing throughput. These kinds of remarks undermine Qualcomm's credibility.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Zanziboy--based on the analyses I've read, it has less in this case to do with data bandwidth than the fundamental structural changes in the ARM instruction set that the jump to 64-bit includes. The reduction in legacy instructions, and more efficient execution of certain things (not related to register size, but to more fundamental changes in the architecture for which 64-bit is not explicitly required, but comes as part of the package with ARM) substantially increases the speed of a lot of operations.

    Of course, I'm not a CPU architecture geek, so there may also be data bandwidth bonuses, but that's not how I understood the analyses.

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