Qualcomm exec says Apple’s 64-Bit A7 chip is a ‘marketing gimmick’

iPhone 5s promo (A7 chip closeup 002)

In a recent interview with Techworld, Qualcomm’s chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher told the publication that he thinks that Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor is just a ‘marketing gimmick’ and that it adds ‘zero benefit’ for the customer.

The executive’s remarks follow several weeks of discussion on the processor, which is the first 64-bit chip to land in a smartphone, from all corners of the tech world. Here’s why he thinks it’s more of a marketing stunt than a technical enhancement…

From Techworld’s report (via MacRumors):

“I know there’s a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm, in an interview. “I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There’s zero benefit a consumer gets from that.”

A benefit of 64-bit is more memory addressability, but that is not relevant in today’s smartphones or tablets, Chandrasekher said. The iPhone 5s has only 1GB of DRAM.

“Predominantly… you need it for memory addressability beyond 4GB. That’s it. You don’t really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications,” said Chandrasekher, who previously ran Intel’s mobile platforms group.”

While there’s a lot of folks that agree with Chandrasekher, there’s also many who don’t. For example, in the latest DJay update, Algoriddim claims the A7 chip in the iPhone 5s allows for 2-4 times faster processing for some production tasks.

A7 floorplan (Chipworks 001)Inside the A7 via Chipworks

And then there’s developer Mike Ash, who recently did some serious digging into the A7. He calls it a ‘welcome addition,’ saying that the chip does make for faster computations in some cases, and makes certain programming techniques more viable.

But the overall consensus on the A7, from both the praisers and the neigh-sayers, seems to be that the 64-bit chip doesn’t mean as much now as it will in a few years. So marketing gimmick or not, it’s nice to see Apple leading the way in this arena.

What do you think?