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Apple is responsible for the mobile industry’s move to 64-bit processors within smartphones after it announced the iPhone 5s in September, according to Mark Liu, co-CEO of major chip company TSMC.

This is something many industry pundits have been whispering for sometime, so it’s interesting to hear from such a higher-up in the chip business. Liu, speaking at a TSMC quarterly results meeting, said it pretty bluntly…

“If you observe the mobile device industry, in the past six months we do see the…conversion to 64-bit [in processors] after the Apple [64-bit A7 processor] announcement,” Liu said, according to CNET.

Apple was the first smartphone manufacturer to ship a 64-bit chip in a smartphone thanks to the A7 processor in the iPhone 5s, which includes a dual-core architecture and GPU within the design of the chip. Qualcomm quickly followed Apple’s A7 announcement months later, when it showed off its line of Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors with built-in LTE due out in Android smartphones in early-2015.

“The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut,” one Qualcomm employee was quoted as saying in December. “Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared.”

“Starting in the second half of 2014, we expect 64-bit ARM application processors and central processing unit upgrades for smartphones and the micro server market, due to better cost, improved power and thermal performance, and enhanced speed,” said Andrew Lu, an Asia-Pacific semiconductor analyst at Barclays, in April.

Liu told investors at the TSMC conference on Thursday that big changes are under way at the chip maker – an interesting comment given the company is rumored to be one of the suppliers for the A8 chip tipped for the iPhone 6 this fall.

Executives from TSMC added that demand for chips in the second quarter is “unseasonably strong”, which would make sense if iPhone 6 production was starting early.

  • Anthony Snyder

    Well duh! haha

  • Grahaman27

    Yeah this is not news. thanks to apple we have another buzz word that every product must have that really doesn’t make any difference.

    • caughtinflux

      ‘that really doesn’t make any difference’.
      It does make a huge difference. Its just that the difference isn’t immediately visible to you as a user.

      • Grahaman27

        No it doesn’t. 64 bit is not why the a7 is so great. The engineers that worked on the a7 even say that 64bit hardly makes a difference, the reason its so fast is because they “virtually doubled all core components”.

        Apple set off a firestorm for nothing.

      • nfinite

        A57 architecture inside A7 does make per clock performance improved a lot.. thats why 1.3GHz dualcore can compete with 2.3GHz quadcore..

      • 1.3GHz dualcore can compete with 2.3GHz quadcore because of how basic iOS is as an operating system. Put it into another OS like Android and it would be extremely laggy.

      • nfinite

        A7 raw power can compete with snapdragon 800.. its not about the OS..

      • It’s definitely OS.

      • nfinite

        A57 in A7 using armv8 instruction which is far more efficient than armv7 in snapdragon 800.. nexus 5 with vanilla android not laggy..

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        This is because Android is by its very nature laggy and requires higher specs to run the OS in an efficient manner. If I remember rightly sometime ago a study was conducted showing that apps that run on Android and iOS are less likely to crash on iOS than they are on Android…

      • Actually it was more likely to crash on iOS and less likely on Android. My Note doesn’t lag whatsoever.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Read the study again:

        “While KitKat is the newest release, teams must continue to optimize for older versions. In particular, Gingerbread is the least stable but widely used”

        Compare that with iOS where iOS 7.1 is the most stable and the most used meaning developers only need to target this OS and can ignore everything else (iOS 6 and below)…

      • I guess I have one bad memory :-0 Thanks for the correction!

      • onebyone_

        My friend run MC4 on his Galaxy S4, he said is very laggy, I’m run it on my iPh5 and it runs very smooth. that’s a proof?

      • Grahaman27

        apple loon

      • Grahaman27

        A7 doesnt use A57 architecture, thats vanilla ARM. Apple built their own custom architecture.

      • Grahaman27

        listen to this:

        apple’s firmware engineer, John Potocny writes, the A7 chip “[almost doubled] all of the core components on the chip (i.e., there are now four Integer ALUs instead of two, and two load/store units instead of one). This means that the A7 can process around twice as many instructions simultaneously as the A6 can, but the improvement is simply not a result of moving to a 64-bit architecture.”

      • nfinite

        thanks for the explanation..

      • I agree. But if this helps to quicken the arrival of phones that can be used as full fledged computers, then I’m very thankful to Apple. On Android you can hook your phone up to a monitor and use a keyboard and mouse. This is great, but it’s not what I expect in the future. I expect native OSes to run on phones also. I expect people will use their phones as their main computer also. Not for gamers of course.

      • caughtinflux

        There is a big change when the amount of registers in the CPU is straight up doubled. Functions with large numbers of arguments or local variables will not have to rely on the stack as much as when running on 32-bit. The scalar types are larger (not necessarily an advantage), and the fact that more data can be held in registers means that less time is spent trawling through the cache or DRAM.

  • Tom

    A8 please come with ram upgrade. 😛

    • nfinite

      yeah, more ram pls..

    • eXoguti093

      Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t, iOS doesn’t need more ram, doubling would leave it with about 1.5GB unused when idle or not using apps, 1GB will last for the next 4 or 5 major iOS releases

  • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

    Doesn’t take a genius to figure this crap out

    • Framboogle

      Those ads were horrible

  • jack

    So obvious