Qualcomm Employee: 64-Bit A7 Chip 'Hit Us In The Gut'

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Earlier this year, after Apple released the first 64-bit chip for smartphones, a Qualcomm spokesperson claimed the A7 processor was a "marketing gimmick" and that there is "zero benefit" to the consumer from the chip. Those comments were later walked back before the executive who made them was reassigned.

Now, Dan Lyons -- the former Fake Steve Jobs and tech columnist -- writes at HubSpot that the A7 chip "hit [Qualcomm] in the gut", according to an unnamed Qualcomm employee.
"The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut," says the Qualcomm employee. "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."

[...]

"The roadmap for 64-bit was nowhere close to Apple's, since no one thought it was that essential," the Qualcomm insider says. "The evolution was going to be steady. Sure, it's neat, it's the future, but it's not really essential for conditions now."

But once Apple introduced a 64-bit processor, all the other phone-makers wanted one too. "Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this. It's being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry."
Since the launch of the iPhone 5s, Apple has gone on to put its flagship A7 64-bit processor in the latest iPad and iPad mini models, in addition to the iPhone 5s.

Both Samsung and Qualcomm have announced that their future smartphone processors will be 64-bit. For Apple, though many apps will not take advantage of the increased speed of the A7 processor, some apps -- Djay and Vjay for example -- do see significant speed improvements with the new processor.

Article Link: Qualcomm Employee: 64-Bit A7 Chip 'Hit Us In The Gut'
 

aberrero

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2010
838
238
Still think 64 bit is stupid. My iPad Air can't keep more than 1.5 tabs loaded at a time. It is actually worse than the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 in Safari. Whatever performance benefits there are are outweighed by the pointless extra ram usage.
 
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appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
6,558
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15 minutes in the future
Does it seem worse at a few things than the old iPad to anyone else? I notice that it can keep less iPad Safari tabs open without needing to reload. I also see more crashes, even on native apps.
 
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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
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"The roadmap for 64-bit was nowhere close to Apple's, since no one thought it was that essential," the Qualcomm insider says. "The evolution was going to be steady. Sure, it's neat, it's the future, but it's not really essential for conditions now."
I can assure those guys that Apple doesn't consider it essential to have it now either. However, the main difference is that unlike those guys, Apple's main goal is to streamline the entire development process for iOS and development tools to handle the transition to 64-bit down the line smoothly. So, when iOS devices do get 4GB in 6-8 years, it's not going to be a big deal for their developers.

Apple's pretty much one of the rare companies that already have the experience and skills to pull it off without major issues (68x > PPC, PPC > Intel).

For anybody else climaining there's no point of A7 without the extra RAM, A7 is far more than just a 64-bit chip, it has a completely new arch that will speed up many type of processes without having the extra memory.

Safari issues are software issues first, not hardware issues. Apple never really optimized Safari to use the memory efficiently, they haven't done it in a few years.
 
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Vermillion9494

macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2011
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The A7 is a power house but imho 64-bit is useless with 1GB Ram.
So PREDICTABLE.

It's already been established that there are more benefits to a 64-bit architecture than an increase in RAM capacity.

No, I don't care to elaborate. You can search ANY thread that mentions "64-bit". :rolleyes:
 
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Corrode

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Dec 26, 2008
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Calgary, AB
That 64-bit chip crashes my 5S on a daily basis. Will be happy when iOS is better able to handle the new structure.
 
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Quu

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Apr 2, 2007
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Does it seem worse at a few things than the old iPad to anyone else? I notice that it can keep less iPad Safari tabs open without needing to reload. I also see more crashes, even on native apps.
Have to agree. But I'm not sure how much of it is due to the A7 and how much is due to iOS 7. I can make the iTunes Store on my iPad Air crash very easily just by previewing some songs. It doesn't bother me too much as I think it is a temporary software problem as not all Apps do it but who knows?

Apart from what I think 2GB of RAM would have been a smarter decision as I too have noticed the browser tab issue and some other problems that indicate RAM is running low.
 
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the8thark

macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2011
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Like all tech, it's invented first then it's used after. Eventually devs will make use of it and one day all phones will be 64 bit. Just like all good desktops are 64 bit.
 
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Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
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Apple is smarter than you Qualcomm.

There is a reason that Snapdragon is affectionately known as Crapdragon.

Now you got a 64-bit chip with no 64-bit OS...yay?
 
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Caithsith

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2013
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0
Still think 64 bit is stupid. My iPad Air can't keep more than 1.5 tabs loaded at a time. It is actually worse than the iPad 3 and iPhone 5 in Safari. Whatever performance benefits there are are outweighed by the pointless extra ram usage.
It iOS 7 bug not the CPU
 
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jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
How often do we see similar reports in the press?

1. Apple releases a new product.
2. Competitors gripe that it's a worthless upgrade.
3. Apple sells tons of devices.
4. Competitors rush to make their devices like Apple's.
 
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nzalog

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
274
2
How often do we see similar reports in the press?

1. Apple releases a new product.
2. Competitors gripe that it's a worthless upgrade.
3. Apple sells tons of devices.
4. Competitors rush to make their devices like Apple's.
It's kind of sad, no?

Well for them...
 
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pubwvj

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
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Mountains of Vermont
The key is the quickly approaching unification of MacOSX and iOS into the all inclusive iMacBorgOS which will have full enveloping backward compatibility for all software back to what Ada used.
 
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Renzatic

Suspended
When are people going to get that moving to 64-bit improves performance regardless of how much RAM the device has?
Going 64-bit is like going with a multi-core CPU for mobile. Will it give you a speed increase in certain situations? Yeah. Will it be faster overall compared to its 32-bit counterpart simply because it has 32 extra bits? No, it won't.

If Apple were to release a 32-bit A7 alongside the 64-bit one, they'd both perform equally well in about 99% of all tasks normally performed on mobile platforms.

That's not to say 64-bit is a waste. Like I've said before, it's excellent future proofing, and will come into play as mobile platforms become more capable. But right now? It makes practically no difference.
 
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Brandon263

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Sep 12, 2009
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Beaumont, CA
Qualcomm Employee: 64-Bit A7 Chip 'Hit Us In The Gut'

When performance is better, which means when developers rewrite their apps.

Performance in iOS 7 on 64 bit devices is already better than performance on 32 bit devices. The OS and all first party apps ship already compiled for 64 bit operation. Again, all of this was established months ago.
 
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MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,390
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That 64-bit chip crashes my 5S on a daily basis. Will be happy when iOS is better able to handle the new structure.
It's not the chip, it's the sloppy iOS 7 software. 7.1 has improved a lot of stuff greatly but it's going to take a year or two to optimize iOS specifically for the new 64-bit arch.

When performance is better, which means when developers rewrite their apps.
Obviously, it depends on the type of the app but a few developers have already recompiled their apps for 64-bit support within a few hours to a few days and they saw a major performance gain.

The switchover to the new arch also allow Apple to create/delete objects much faster, so this doesn't require any major code changes but it does require the developers to simply recompile it with the latest SDkK>

Have to agree. But I'm not sure how much of it is due to the A7 and how much is due to iOS 7. I can make the iTunes Store on my iPad Air crash very easily just by previewing some songs. It doesn't bother me too much as I think it is a temporary software problem as not all Apps do it but who knows?

Apart from what I think 2GB of RAM would have been a smarter decision as I too have noticed the browser tab issue and some other problems that indicate RAM is running low.
So far, from what my experience and what I've seen from 7.1, it's the OS that's the fault on this.

Many of the beta testers confirmed the crashes in Safari (I know you said iTunes Store), have pretty much been resolved in the beta 2. There are still some sites that crashes Safari but the good news is that the apps using WebView are no longer randomly crashing as they were before in iOS 7.0.x.
 
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