Is the rumored 64-bit Apple chip for iPhone 5S just wishful thinking?

By , Network World |  Mobile & Wireless

"The iPhone 5's A6 chip is dual-core, and it seems like the iPhone 5S will also remain dual-core," he said. "However, there could be a major differentiator: 64-bit. We've independently heard claims that some of the iPhone 5S internal prototypes include 64-bit processors."

The following day, Morris tweeted that he, too, has heard the same thing. "I too have heard 64-bit from multiple sources. Just as @markgurman reported yesterday. Should be an interesting Sept. event."

Yet Gurman actually isn't certain nor apparently are his sources - that the next iPhone will have a 64-bit processor, saying only that "it's been in testing."

Neither Morris' tweets nor Gurman's post actually connects what may be two separate and unrelated developments.

But that didn't stop bloggers from going much further in their own speculation, using phrases like "reportedly" and "is expected" to suggest much more concreteness than actually exists. VentureBeat's headline was "Apple reportedly debuting 64-bit A7 chips for upcoming iPhone 5S." That post by Dean Takahashi was based on Morris' tweet and Gurman's post: "The A7 processor is expected to operate on 64-bit code and will have two brains known as cores."

Gurman drew on some recent, but equally vague, 64-bit speculation by securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who "said that it seems like a transition to 64-bit processors will likely occur in the near-future." Neither Kuo nor Gurman defined what "near future" means. Gurman: "If the move does not happen this year with the A7, expect it to happen with the A8, [Kuo] said."

Yet that's also essentially what ARM's Bruce says, talking about the industry evolution to 64-bit mobile chips in general.

"Over the next four years, people will move from 32- to 64-bit in the ARM ecosystem for mobile," Bruce says. "That will help increase addressable memory beyond 4 Gbytes and let OS vendors support one [OS] kernel with one set of tools....You won't see a sudden change."

"Just because your processor goes from 32- to 64-bits doesn't mean you get a big performance boost," he says. "Look at Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox [browsers] on 64-bit OS X and Windows. They're both still 32-bit applications."


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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