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Keeping Up with Apple: Samsung Galaxy To Sport 64-bit Chips
Keeping Up with Apple: Samsung Galaxy To Sport 64-bit Chips

By Nancy Owano
September 12, 2013 11:26AM

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To take on rival Apple, Samsung has to do some serious engineering to make the 64-bit processor show end results. Switching the Galaxy over to accommodate a 64-bit chip inside the device is not trivial. There's also the challenge in pushing most third-party developers toward a 64-bit environment when many devices still rely on 32-bit chips.

After Apple announced this week that the A7 chip in its iPhone 5s will be the first 64-bit smartphone processor on the market, Samsung revealed on Wednesday that future Galaxy handsets will also go 64-bit.

And once again the South Korean electronics giant is taking on rival Apple. The news comes from a Samsung executive speaking at his regular weekly meeting with chief executives of Samsung's key affiliates in Seoul, as reported in The Korean Times.

Samsung's co-CEO Shin Jong-kyun said upcoming Samsung Galaxy smartphones will have 64-bit processing capabilities. The Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 run 32-bit processors.

Not in the Shortest Time

So when is Samsung letting its 64-bit smartphone out of the gate? No specific date was given. When asked about timing, the Samsung executive said, "Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality."

Some market watchers guess a 64-bit smartphone from Samsung will be forthcoming some time next year. Consumers by then will have been exposed to a lot of marketing information about how 64-bit processors can translate into actions they can enjoy, namely that their smartphones will be more powerful and faster.

The iPhone 5s from Apple will be driven by an ARM-based A7 processor that will handle code for more demanding applications, including high-end games. Apple trumpeted its A7 chip as ushering in 64-bit "desktop-class architecture" to a smartphone for the first time.

"With up to twice the CPU and graphics performance, almost everything you do on iPhone 5S is faster and better than ever, from launching apps and editing photos to playing graphic-intensive games -- all while delivering great battery life," according to Apple.

Wait, Just a Mobile Moment

Processors with a 64-bit address space have been seen in desktops and servers, not mobile devices, which typically use 32-bit chips. Apple told its launch audience on Tuesday that its iOS 7 was engineered to support the A7 chip's 64-bit architecture.

Nonetheless, techies on the we-know-the-plumbing level are crying "pause." Switching a mobile phone over to accommodate a 64-bit chip inside the device is not trivial, and requires a real overhaul of the device's engineering.

Samsung will likewise need to perform some serious engineering to make the 64-bit processor show end results. Samsung watchers are also asking what path the electronics giant would take, whether it would be applied to Tizen, the company's open source operating system -- said to be a back-up plan -- or wait for Google to make Android compatible with its 64-bit needs.

There is also the challenge in pushing third-party developers -- with the exception of those working on video games and 3D animations who would be more eager to work with processor-intensive programs -- toward a 64-bit environment when many devices still rely on 32-bit chips.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 2:10pm PT
Wow, Apple succeeded in copying the GOLD from the Asus Fonepad. Next Samsung will copy Gold from Apple. Then Apple will SUE Samsung for copying Gold.

Rudy D.:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 12:45pm PT
The shills will say what the shills will say, but this confusing 32 bit CPUs, and 64 bit CPUs, with the amount of memory address space, that a CPU can address, makes my brain hurt! CPUs (32 and 64 bit) are measured on the width of their data bus, and not the width of their address bus! So saying that going to a 64 bit cpu will increase the amount of memory that can be addressed, is incorrect! If the CPU needs to be able to address more memory, then the address bus needs to be made wider, but the metric for basing the 32 or 64 bit microprocessor is, and has always been, based on the size(width) of the data bus, and the width of the internal registers, but has nothing to do with addressing more memory!


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 12:17pm PT
So for the next year the paid Samsung shills will be everywhere saying that 64-bit is a sham and a waste and "the Apple fad is so over" and stuff like that. Then Samsung will release 64-bit devices and they will then be instructed to say that 64-bit is the most amazing thing in the world. Yawn.

the dude:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 11:38am PT
Well they're goes battery life again.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 11:26am PT
The Apple fad is so over!

Rudy D.:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 11:07am PT
A 64 bit processor, if designed for backwards compatibility with 32 bit code, can still run any 32 bit code that ran on its 32 bit predecessors! A properly constructed 64 bit CPU can still run that 32 bit code, and run it more efficiently! A 64 bit processor can while it is running the 32 bit code, fetch two 32 bit instructions from memory in half the time that its 32 bit predecessor could, with its smaller data bus! Remember a 64 bit processor has twice the data bandwith of a 32 bit processor, per however many clock cycles it takes to send the request over the address bus and receive the data back over the data bus, a 64 bit computer can move twice the amout of data per unit time, as a 32 bit computer can.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:56am PT

"They are now hitting the 4GB barrier with 32-bit. (Something Apple isn't.)"

Apple doesn't need 4GB of RAM in their iPhones because as minimal as they are, they are very efficient and in fact, faster in response time than all of Android's souped-up RAM and Quad-Core processing.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:40am PT
The point of changing over to 64-bit isn't to take on Apple. Samsung, I'm certain, couldn't give less of a crap about that. They are now hitting the 4GB barrier with 32-bit. (Something Apple isn't.) The Note 3 comes with 3GB of RAM. If Samsung wants to go any further they need to go 64-bit. As for the OS. The underlying OS is Linux. Samsung has been heavily developing for Linux over the last few years. See what you people don't get is this isn't Apple. Its a semi open sourced OS. Which means Samsung can go in and develop and update the OS to support 64bit.

Rudy D.:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:40am PT
Samsung fabricates the CPU that Apple designed, based on the ARM instruction set, That Apple licensed from ARM Holdings! Apple does with the ARM instruction set the same thing that AMD does with the x86 instruction set! AMD takes only the x86 instruction set and designs a CPU that can run the Intel x86 instructions, but the transistors and circuits are all AMD's doing, it is their chips ability to run any software that is compiled to run standard x86 based code! Apple does the same thing that AMD does, only Apple does it with the ARM instruction set!


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:31am PT
Now, they just need an os to support it.....


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:29am PT
The problem for Samsung isn't making the 64 bit chip, it's the overhaul of the OS.

Rudy D.:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:16am PT
The press needs to go to school and learn more about CPU architecture! The 64 bit, with respect to the processors size, is based on the size of the Data bus, and has nothing to do with the amount memory a microprocessor can address! The address bus width determines the amount of memory a CPU can address! Some early Intel x86 CPUs had a 16 bit data bus, and an 8 bit address bus!!


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:16am PT
You do realize that samsung makes the 64 bit A7 chip being used by apple right?


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:05am PT
Samsung may not have a 64 bit chip by the end of the year but I predict they'll have a gold colored phone or two as as soon as they can copy it.

The Big Bad Wolf:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:04am PT
Get ready for the "Next Big Thingamajigg". A gold S5 with a finger print scanner running a 64-bit OS. Oh, and you can switch between photos by doing left and right cartwheels. Those iSheep will be so jealous. I can't wait!


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 10:03am PT
Samsung already makes Apple cpus.
So what's the big news again?


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:46am PT
"Here's what I heard: Blah, blah, blah, science, science, science... Bigger! And bigger is better."

This is like saying that our vending machines should be upgraded to 32-bit because it is bigger than 8/16-bit.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:46am PT
Me too! Me too!


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:29am PT
God bless USA :-) what is the next step? 128 bit :-) unbelievable how fast it would be? 5S is very sensitive touch about 74 to 84 ms with 64 bit.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:27am PT
64 bit is largely a buzzword that really does not mean much in terms of any kind of real performance benefits and has some disadvantages too.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:18am PT
Interesting Samsung manufactures the A7 chip for Apple. I'm sure they will not copy the tech this time, but I am sure the chip will be named 7A.

john george:

Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:17am PT
I think samsung is the biggest intel thief of apple products in the history of thieves! the jap cars, the jap phones, the jap household products are all trash and should be denied entry to the united states! i've been a mechanic for 49 years so don't think i don't know what the hell i'm talking about! no product anywhere matches american products period!


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 9:03am PT
I can see Samsung's next TV ad. "We have the next big thing. I swear, just not yet.".


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 8:17am PT
Um the A7 is made by samsung so... Um.... Yeah.


Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 8:15am PT
Considering that Samsung made the 64-bit chip in the iPhone 5S, I doubt they will have much trouble making one for their

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