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Summary:

Qualcomm is following Apple and Intel down the 64-bit rabbit hole, announcing today a new version of its Snapdragon processor supporting the new advanced computing architecture. Don’t expect these new chips in high-end devices, though.

64-Bit superman
photo: InContext

Ever since Apple surprised the tech world with a 64-bit CPU in the iPhone 5s’s A7 processor, other mobile silicon vendors have been in a bit of race to proffer up their own 64-bit architectures. Intel is readying its Bay Trail 64-bit architecture for Android smartphones and tablets, and on Monday, Qualcomm announced the upcoming availability of its latest Snapdragon integrated baseband-applications processor, which supports – you guessed it — a 64-bit CPU.

Qualcomm’s new chip, the Snapdragon 410, won’t go into marquee phones like its new quad-core 805. Instead these new silicon designs are targeted at lower-end sub-$150 phones; think cheap Android phones for emerging markets. That may seem like an odd move, since 64-bit architectures are designed to support high-end features like RAM beyond 4 GB and fast-twitch gaming.

But keep in mind low-end and mid-range phones are supporting many of the features recently reserved for high-end devices. For instance, the 410 isn’t just offering better graphics than its predecessors, but also an integrated LTE baseband.

Google hasn’t even announced support for 64-bit computing in Android yet, and these Qualcomm chips won’t ship until the second half of 2014. There’s plenty of time for Qualcomm to introduce 64-bit architectures across its Snapdragon line while the mobile industry is still preparing to take advantage of it.

  1. lol Apple did what? Ridiculous how the press makes everything about Apple somehow.
    ARMv8-A was announced over 2 years ago. Everybody knew ARM is going 64 bit ,it stopped being news a long time ago.
    Why Qualcomm went this way is simply because they are using an ARM core ,the A53, it’s the next gen low power core and it happens to be 64bit.
    And btw long before Apple went 64 bit, someone much higher up at Qualcomm than the much publicized ” ït’s all marketing” comment said that they will go 64 bit ,not that it’s needed but for marketing reasons.

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  2. Android is not yet 64bit and Google had announced that they have no plans making Android into one. So for who is this 64bit chip for?

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