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

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According to a pair of tweets from Fox anchor Clayton Morris, your next iPhone(s aapl) 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(s goog) handset. That phone uses a standard dual-core processor from Qualcomm(s qcom) 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.

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

  1. This will be really fast! Apple can tailor their own chips.
    ARM has also announced that they will have the 64 bit Cortex-A50 mobile processors to be released in year 2014.

    Meaning, Apple will be first. But there’s a lot more of 64 bit phone to follow after a year.

  2. Why you would need a 64 bit processor and more than 4 gigs of ram on your phone is beyond me… but hey its progress I suppose. I’d prefer more efficient processors and longer battery life as well as better camera lenses.

  3. fredhstein

    Kevin, love your work. I crave more info on the Camera. Just my guess… Camera’s, more broadly optics & image processing, may become key differentiators for SmartPhones.

    • Tyler Cox

      232 = 4,294,967,296 bytes 4,294,967,296 / (1,024 x 1,024) = 4,096 MB = 4GB

      It’s different for 64-bit:

      264 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 / (1,024 x 1,024) = 16EB (exabytes)

    • The amount of bits a computer can procces at one time. 32 bits vs 64 bits. 64 bits is faster cause it can proccess twice as many at one time.

      Also 64 bits has more memory addressing space so it can use more than 4 gigs of ram which 32 bit cant do.

      Basicly its like having a small work table (32 bit) vs a long work table (64 bit) for the proccesor to use.