Report: Apple testing 64-bit iPhone processor with a “motion tracking” chip

apple a6

According to a pair of tweets from Fox anchor Clayton Morris, your next iPhone could be 31 percent faster and have a chip dedicated to motion tracking. The new chip, Morris’s sources say, uses 64-bit technology compared the current A6 processor, which is based on 32-bit tech.

The potential silicon sounds somewhat similar to what Motorola has designed for its Moto X handset. That phone uses a standard dual-core processor from Qualcomm but includes a non-standard quad-core GPU for the chip. Additionally, it has two separate processors for natural language processors and contextual use via the phone’s sensors. This approach brings better performance while maintaining efficient battery life.

It’s somewhat easier for Apple to create custom chips that bring such specific benefits because the company doesn’t rely on off-the-shelf processors from Qualcomm, Samsung and others. Instead, it designs its own silicon to perform exactly the way it wants.

If the reports are true, the speed boost will be less than in prior models, but that could change over time as iOS is tweaked to take advantage of 64-bit chips. Apple slowly migrated its Mac apps from 32- to 64-bit over time until OS X was optimized for full 64-bit compatibility. And added benefits could come in the form of longer battery life as specific chips devoted to certain tasks are integrated into the iPhone.

We’ll be talking more about how chips can bring such innovation at our Mobilize event in October where Rob Chandhok, President, Internet Services and Innovation Center and SVP, Qualcomm is scheduled to speak.

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