ARM and Qualcomm seem to be ready for 64-bit generation of processors

We've seen Android L announced at this year's Google I/O. There are many features in Android L itself that we've talked about, we're not here to talk about those. We're here to focus on a specific one, support for 64-bit processors. Considering that Android L will support 64-bit processors, processor manufacturers will focus more on 64-bit chips, rather than using current 32-bit architecture. It might take some time to see benefits from those SoCs (System on Chip) though, considering the fact that vast majority of apps aren't compatible with 64-bit architecture. That is completely normal, developers were coding apps for current-gen 32-bit chips.

Speaking of chip manufacturers, ARM has been powering over 95% of today's smartphone devices, Android devices included. They've launched their first ARMv7-A chip in 2009 and have since then shipped over 1 billion devices. Tablets are close to 500 million mark. Some of you may wonder how in the heck did ARM ship so many devices when you see Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in most devices these days. Well, Qualcomm is licensing ARM's architecture (they're basically partners), or processor technology if you will, in order to produce its own SoCs (processors) such as Snapdragon 400 (Moto G), 600 (HTC One M7), 800 (Nexus 5), 801 (Galaxy S5), and so on. I listed those devices in order to show you how many different smartphone manufacturers use this technology.

Partnership between ARM and Qualcomm will continue as they're getting ready to offer new chips for 64-bit generation of mobile devices. They are getting ready to offer ARMv8 architecture within Qualcomm SoCs. There are many benefits in moving to 64-bit architecture, performance improvements and increased memory capacity is a given. ARMv8 will bring lots more according to ARM and Qualcomm though. Doubled general purpose registers and SIMD/Floating point registers, more cryptographic extensions, improved performance of virtual machines/compilers and lots more. ARMv8 will also be backwards compatible with the current ARMv7 architecture of course, without this you wouldn't be able to use any of the applications which are made for 32-bit ARMv7 architecture.

Cortex A53 and A57 CPU core designs are also on the way. They're going to replace A7, A9 and A15 cores. These processors will be more power efficient and will offer 20-50% better performance that Cortex A15, depending on what core part are we talking about. They intend to improve power efficiency through the big.LITTLE platform. The idea is to save power using the cores alone by optimizing them for specific tasks. In other words, x number of cores will work for a specific task, no need to fire up extra cores when not necessary. We've seen this in action already and the results were... well, not what they expected. Hopefully, they've managed to improve on it and are now ready to offer some real improvements.

Qualcomm's Adreno GPU line has also seen some performance and power efficiency improvements already and it will only get better with the architecture. Qualcomm has low and mid-range market covered as well, they'll offer Snapdragon 410 and 610 processors for those devices. All of this of course next to higher-end 808 and 810 chips which will be a part of flagship devices all over the world.

ARM and Qualcomm seem ready to take the market by storm yet again. If you want to read the full document directly from Qualcomm's official website (for more details), follow the source link below.

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About the Author
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Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]
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