updated 12:59 pm EDT, Wed October 9, 2013
Says industry 'moving in the direction of 64-bit'
Qualcomm's PR department has issued a statement retracting a recent jab at Apple's A7 processor, made by chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher. In an interview with IDG News last week, Chandrasekher called the A7's 64-bit architecture a "marketing gimmick," arguing that it has little to no benefit for the public at the moment. "Predominantly ...you need it [64-bit] for memory addressability beyond 4GB [the iPhone 5s has 1GB of RAM]. That's it. You don't really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications."
The PR statement says that Chandrasekher's comments were incorrect. "The mobile hardware and software ecosystem is already moving in the direction of 64-bit; and, the evolution to 64-bit brings desktop class capabilities and user experiences to mobile, as well as enabling mobile processors and software to run new classes of computing device," the company writes.
The A7 is the first processor in a mass-market cellphone to make the switch to 64-bit. Developers must specifically code iOS apps to exploit it, though, and 64-bit apps are not yet backwards compatible with iOS 6, since hybrid binaries haven't been enabled. Apple is expected to bring variants of the A7 to the iPad and iPad mini later this month.
Qualcomm has strong financial incentives to alter its PR message. The company has long been an Apple supplier, manufacturing the wireless receivers used in iPhones and iPads.