64-bitness In Smartphones

Intel introduced the 8-bit microprocessor back in the 1970s, the 16-bit processor in the 1970s, the 32-bit processor in the 1980s and had to be kicking and screaming to introduce 64-bit processors, chasing AMD, in the 2000s. That’s about a decade a doubling. ARM designed with 32-bits in the 1980s but made the move to 64-bit in 2011. Now, smartphones are using 64-bitness with a mess of models planned for 2014.

In desktop PCs there was little reason to go to 64-bit when it was introduced except that it was a quick way to double throughput for some operations. On the whole it barely bumped up performance at all and consumed a lot of resources. For smartphones, a quick doubling in performance will eliminate the last hesitation of users to respect their power. It also means that manufacturers envision exceeding the 2^32 memory limit and perhaps running virtual machines. The server people are drooling over the possibilities of gazillions of small cheap ARMed CPUs in their servers capable of running huge RAM and virtual machines.

The beauty of this is that while Intel used to charge ~$1K or some such premium prices for new models, ARM is happy to accept a few cents per copy (Q3 Revenue ($m) 286.7 for 2.5 billion ARM-based chips shipped means less than ~$1 per CPU and manufacturing rights are perpetual…) and hardware makers and users get the performance bump from 64-bitness for almost nothing, accelerating adoption. “ARM’s strategy is for our technology to continue to gain share in long-term structural growth markets such as mobile phones, consumer electronics and embedded digital devices. To date, ARM has licensed its technology over 1000 times to more than 350 ARM partners, who have shipped over 45 billion ARM-based chips.” Good luck, Wintel. This technology will be taking share of the desktop and servers really soon and running all kinds of Linux operating systems.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to 64-bitness In Smartphones

  1. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy basically be civil or expect to be ignored.

  2. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy I will let someone else ask if they want it who will use my name correct.

    I am under no requirement to answer a person being insulting That Exploit Guy.

    If you use my name correct I am bound by burden of proof to answer you. This is basic school yard rules. Insulting person you don’t have to prove anything to. They are too small of a person.

    I am not refusing to provide proof. I am just refusing todo business with a insulting person. This is my legal right by the way.

  3. That Exploit Guy says:

    @Gene Ray the Time Cube Guy
    That Exploit Guy if you want an answer you will have to use my correct name.
    I get called names here all the time. Cry me a river.
    That Exploit Guy besides if you are up on the alterations arm did when they made 64 bit version. You would not need to ask the question in the first place.
    I find rather curious that you have made this a separate reply as though it was something of an afterthought. In any case, you have raise the point about firmware, and it is only right to conclude that the burden of proof lies in you, not me. Besides, I have no interest in looking up the alleged “alterations” that you mention: I am only asking out of curiosity, although given your track record of being a thoroughly unreliable source of technical information, I am not holding my breath for your answer.

  4. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy besides if you are up on the alterations arm did when they made 64 bit version. You would not need to ask the question in the first place.

  5. oiaohm says:

    That Exploit Guy if you want an answer you will have to use my correct name. Sorry I don’t answer people who think its fun to play with another person handle.

  6. That Exploit Guy says:

    @Gene Ray the Time Cube Guy
    Of course missed the point that Arm 64 bit might allow us to have 1 firmware image including boot loader that can query the cpu and probe from then on correctly.
    Care to explain how precisely firmware images are relevant to having 64-bit processors?

  7. oiaohm says:

    Of course missed the point that Arm 64 bit might allow us to have 1 firmware image including boot loader that can query the cpu and probe from then on correctly.

    Arm 32 bit is quite a mess.

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