Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Qualcomm announces its first 64-bit processor, the Snapdragon 410

It's always the same. One company comes up with something "different than usual", it's rival company calls that feature a gimmick and the next thing you know, that "gimmicky" feature is present in the second company's next product!

Same is the case with Qualcomm. When Apple announced back in October that it's A7 chip has a 64-bit architecture so that apps can handle bigger amounts of data, Qualcomm's Ex-CMO, Anand Chandrasekher, called it as a "marketing gimmick" and that it has no additional benefit to the customers. Although I agree with him (:P), he was removed from his post for leading exploration of other initiatives. 

And to my surprise(being sarcastic), yesterday, Qualcomm announced it's first 64-bit chip, the Snapdragon 410. The Snapdragon 410 is aimed for mid-low end Android and Windows phone devices with a price tag of below 150$. The newest Snapdragon processor will also support multiple LTE bands known as "LTE World mode". In addition to 64 bit and LTE World Mode, the Snapdragon 410 supports a 13-megapixel camera, 1080p HD video playback, and the new Adreno 306 GPU.

Such chips enable faster apps that can juggle large amounts of data more efficiently. However, most mobile operating systems and apps don't currently support 64 bit. This means that now Android and Windows phone manufacturers can overcome the limitation of 4 GB RAM by using 64-bit processors instead of ARM or 32-bit ones. Although, I don't think mobile devices with more than 4 GB will come before Q3 of 2015.

Okay, now the important part, "When will I see a device with the Snapdragon 410 in stores?". According to Qualcomm, this chip will be displayed in Q1 of 2014 and will be available for mass production in Q3 2014.

In my previous article about the Oppo Find 7, I talked about the Snapdragon 805. If you want to read that article, click here. I talked about 64 bit processors on my Nexus 7(2013) and the iPad Mini with Retina Display article. You can read that one here. Read Qualcomm's original announcement here.

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