Android devices to see first 64-bit CPUs in 2014



Apple was first to offer a mobile device featuring a 64-bit CPU, but speculation says Android makers will soon follow suit. According to a report from Digitimes, chipmakers including Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Broadcom are expected to introduce CPUs with 64-bit architecture that could make their way into smartphones and tablets sometime during the first half of 2014.

The chip designs will be based off of ARM blueprints for their Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 silicon, which would closely match the design of Apple’s A7 processor. Apple’s CPU ranked among the top chipsets in recent benchmarks.

64-bit processing has up until recently remained relegated to the more robust PC systems we normally find on our desktops. But bringing 64-bit chips to mobile devices is only half of the equation. 64-bit native builds of Android would be required to take full advantage of the added benefits of 64-bit processing, and apps and games would need to be updated to match. While Apple launched a version of iOS 7 tailored to the architecture with the release of the iPhone 5S, developers have been slow to bring their wares up to speed.

While 64-bit is most definitely in the future plans for Android manufacturers, the change won’t come overnight. But in a marketing war that relies on flashy specs to sell smartphone hardware, expect to see the new chips come to devices sooner rather than later.


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  1. 64-bit alone is meaningless in a smartphone, but it’ll be good to see ARMv8 based processors next year for Android due to all their other improvements.

    It’s a shame Apple beat Android to the punch on this because the A7 is a beast. Amazing what it does being dual core and 1.3GHz it smokes everything else and provides excellent battery life. Hopefully Android will see similar results once Qualcomm gets onboard with a new Snapdragon.

    1. Huawei Ascend D came out in 2012 is android and beat Apple by a whole year. Funny thing is Apple never made claim they were the first , the Media just assumes they are & did little to no research or else they would have figured out Android was doing 64 bit before apple.

      1. The Ascend D does not have a 64-bit CPU. It was marketing. It’s using a quad-core Cortex A9 (32-bit, same setup as Exynos 4 and Tegra 3). They’re advertising their 64-bit memory interface, which all modern smartphones have. Their wording was “as powerful as a 64-bit CPU” and “a 64-bit system”, the latter being a reference to the memory interface.
        The CPU was 32-bit. Don’t fall for the marketing hype.

      2. You’re an idiot.

    2. Amazing battery life is also helped by the tiny screen.

      1. Agreed, but that simply means that it’s properly designed for its size.

        I think only the Moto X rivals it’s battery life with a noticeably thicker phone and less performance (from what I saw on Engadget’s tests).

  2. was just thinking about 64 bit processors for android. while, like most, I don’t think we need a 64 bit processor, I do wonder if with the insane amount of ram and increasingly powerful gpus, maybe we can get better gaming and emulators.

    1. It wont be the 64-bit instructions or additional RAM (not good for battery life) that’ll have the initial increase in performance. It’ll be the improvement in the additional registers and tweaks in the AArch64 architecture, provided Android is coded to take advantage of it like iOS7.

  3. I think we’ll see a move to ART with 64-bit support. Maybe 5.0?

    1. I think they’re saving a huge change for 5.0, since the last few updates have been very small, not leaving 4.x
      so 64 bit might just be a tiny part of the future of android

    2. It’s possible they’ll build it into the background of a smaller update for the developers to play around with – similar to ART. But I’d bet something this big will need to wait for 5.0.

  4. I’m looking forward to quantum computing. Whenever that gets in a smartphone, or pc, or laptop (or whatever mobile all-in-one devices we’ll have at the time) I’ll be seriously amazed.

  5. If it means better battery life then great but if not, is misguided. My phone is already beyond fast enough. I want 2-3 days on a charge, not more performance.

    1. With ARMv8 and 64-bit, you don’t need ultra-high GHz nor core count to achieve the same goal. Apple A7 is able to beat Qualcomm and Samsung chips with just a dual core 1.3 GHz chip based on ARMv8 architecture.

      1. Yep, ARMv8 in Apple’s A7 smokes Android phones with clearly more efficient performance/Hz. It’ll be great when it finally hits Android in 2014, hopefully Qualcomm gets moving on some SoCs.

  6. Huawei Ascend D came out in 2012 and is 64 bit , so Android had the First 64 bit phone not Apple.

    1. The Huawei Ascend D uses the K3V2 processor, which uses Cortex A9 cores, which are based off the ARMv7 instruction set and are therefore 32 bit. You may have confused the cpu and the memory, which is 64 bit.




        1. “While PCs now run at 64bit, most of our competitor’s smartphones only
          run 32-bit processors. Huawei is proud to announce that its smartphone,
          the Ascend D Series runs at 64 bit.” – Richard Yu, Huawei.

          Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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    3. No.

      As for some other features, android may have the first of some things but they stink at implementation. Sorry, as an end user, i don’t care who has the first, i just want something that works.

      Look at NFC…Android first…but look at where it is today? Near death on respirator only because Google is hanging onto it. iBeacon and AirDrop has made NFC a dying technology, if not dead already.

  7. I’m not too worried about adopting this tech. I’m glad they’re rolling it out, but it’ll be another year or two after 64bit hits Android that it’ll become common and developers start rebuiling their apps for it. And by then it’ll be time for a new phone and I’ll be in the clear.

  8. It will be worth it once the first devices start coming out with 64bit of ram. Something that Apple won’t do until the iPhone 7 Probably. So for Android users in another year or so this will be very important. Also once apps start taking advantages of additional 64 bit instructions we should see a small performance improvement. But today, it means nothing pretty much.

    1. Keep telling yourself that…ARMv8…read up on it.

      1. Don’t you find it odd that A64 uses 32-bit fixed length instructions?

  9. my old CDMA samsung galaxy S3 can do anything these quadcore phones can do. i dont have any problem getting on youtube and playing games on my phone.

    specs have plateaued. gimme unique features and software.

  10. “Developers have been slow to bring their wares up to speed”

    Have they? I mean I know we throw Apple under the bus a lot, but it’s important to stay honest. Xcode is really good at cross-compiling for different architectures. If anything, the reason developers aren’t bringing “their wares up to speed” is for backwards compatibility with non-A7 devices.

    Finally, once Dalvik and the new ART are 64-bit native, it’s not going to matter much to Android developers whether or not they’re developing for 64-bit or not, unless they are developing native libraries with the NDK in which case they’re likely used to targeting multiple architectures (ARMv7, Cortex-A9, Cortex-A8, Cortex-A15, x86, and now x86-64).

    1. Exactly. Java apps – the majority for Android – are immune to 32/64-bit data size
      differences. They’ll either be isolated from it by the Dalvik Virtual
      Machine or compiled properly by the Android Runtime, ART.

  11. Note that Cyclone, which is Apple A7’s CPU is NOT Cortex-A57 or A53. Cyclone is custom designed by Apple. A53/57 is more for servers i believe…so, like A15, may not be the best option for mobile computing! Hopefully, Qualcomm and Samsung do their homework this time around, esp. Samsung.

    1. Qualcomm hasn’t use ARM Cortex designs in any of the Snapdragons, they license the instruction set. Would be odd to see that change.

    2. Qualcomm hasn’t used ARM Cortex designs in any of their Snapdragons, they’ve licensed the ARM instruction set. Would be surprising to see them change at this point.

  12. 10% lag reduction, that’s all. LOL

  13. “Apple was first to offer a mobile device featuring a 64-bit CPU”

    but I thought the Huawei Ascend D was the first 64 bit phone or did all those so called tech bloggers get it wrong when they all proclaimed the Huawei Ascend D as the world’s first 64bit phone?

    1. No the Ascend D was just a dated 40nm Cortex-A9 with a 64-bit memory interface. Thinking back it turned out to be about the same performance as the GS3.

      1. Thank you for the clarification.

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