When Apple introduced the iPhone 5s there was a lot of surprise because it featured a fingerprint scanner, but one of the more impressive features that didn’t gain much attention to the public was its 64-bit chip.
In the semiconductor industry, the fact that Apple went mainstream on 64-bit mobile, computing took the entire industry with its pants down… so much so that everyone is scrambling to catch up.
According to a new report from Dan Lyons over at HubSpot, a Qualcomm insider has told them that when the A7 chip first came out, it “hit us in the gut. Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It’s not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won’t benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it’s like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it.”
Lyons further elaborated “the roadmap for 64-bit was nowhere close to Apple’s, since no one thought it was that essential. The evolution was going to be steady. Sure, it’s neat, it’s the future, but it’s not really essential for conditions now.”
This is why initially people like Chandrasekher from Qualcomm started mouthing off that 64-bit was gimmick to try to change the public perception of the usefulness of 64-bit mobile computing. And when it comes down to it, apps in their current form aren’t geared to take advantage of 64-bit chips, but in the near future most apps will benefit.
Little did Chandrasekher know he would be shooting himself in the foot, though, because Qualcomm is actively working on its own 64-bit chip for the market… and if THEY are working on it, it can’t be all that useless, now, can it?