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The real impact of Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor

October 4, 2013

Agam Shah (TechWorld) made quite a headline yesterday:

“I know there’s a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm, in an interview. “I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There’s zero benefit a consumer gets from that.”

A benefit of 64-bit is more memory addressability, but that is not relevant in today’s smartphones or tablets, Chandrasekher said. The iPhone 5s has only 1GB of DRAM.

“Predominantly… you need it for memory addressability beyond 4GB. 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,” said Chandrasekher, who previously ran Intel’s mobile platforms group.

As I was about to make a comment on Chandrasekher’s claim there, I read an amazing article from Ed McKernan (Seeking Alpha) on what it means for Apple to get 64-bit into the A7 processor:

In front of Tim Cook is a corporate market dying to have a supplier that has a cohesive product line of interoperability. In one year’s time, all of Apple’s products focused at corporate will be 64 bit, and in the history of computing, this is the fastest transition that has ever taken place.


Many people forget that Tim Cook worked at Compaq in the 1990s and witnessed the treadmill of Intel processors that forced OEMs to constantly refresh PCs, sometimes within a few months’ time. The process was beneficial to Intel and at the expense of Compaq as writedowns occurred often on PCs with obsolete processors.

A great piece by McKernan, a mind-opener for those who still have doubts on the 64-bit A7. How can Chandrasekher understand it, it took Intel forever to move from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Not to repeat what’s already been said many times during the introduction of the iPhone 5s, this is what Apple really mean by “thinking forward”, it’s scary to see how far Tim Cook has foresee everything and we just see the tip of the iceberg.

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