| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Dec 9 Qualcomm Inc said
on Monday it will make smartphone chips with 64-bit features
typically found in personal computers, following Apple Inc
and opening the way to more efficient mobile gadgets.
Qualcomm said its new Snapdragon 410 component will also
include 4G cellphone connectivity technology and be aimed at the
fast-growing Chinese market, where it should start appearing in
low-cost smartphones in the second half of 2014.
Along with 4G, 64-bit technology will become standard across
Qualcomm's products, said Michelle Leyden Li, a Qualcomm senior
director in charge of marketing its Snapdragon line.
Led by Apple's iPhones, the smartphone industry's evolution
toward 64-bit chips reduces the gap between low-power mobile
processors and punchier chips used in laptops, desktop PCs and
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has also said it
plans to use 64-bit processors in its smartphones.
Processors with 64-bit features can take advantage of more
memory than 32-bit processors now found in most mobile devices,
potentially letting them work faster and more efficiently.
Current smartphones don't have enough memory to give 64-bit
processors an advantage of 32-bit chips, but future phones
probably will include enough memory to give the 64-bit
processors a performance boost.
Taking advantage of 64-bit processors also requires changes
to software originally designed for 32-bit processors.
"It's a little bit chicken and the egg," Leyden Li said. "We
see this transition happening and we want to be there to help
enable the ecosystem."
In September, Apple unveiled its first iPhone made with a
64-bit processor, leading to speculation the company plans to
merge its iOS mobile platform with the operating system used for
its Mac laptop and desktop personal computers. Future Macs could
be built with the same line of chips Apple that uses in its
iPhones and iPads.
Intel Corp already includes 64-bit features in its
mobile chips but the company's "x86" architecture has failed to
catch on in smartphones and tablets. A competing, low-power
architecture has been licensed to chipmakers by Arm Holdings Plc
and has become ubiquitous in devices.