Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Android-based smartphone competitors may soon have an answer for the iPhone maker’s groundbreaking 64-bit A7 processor. According to Brooke Crothers at CNET, chipmaker Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is preparing to launch a 64-bit Bay Trail Atom platform for Android.
Intel general manager Hermann Eul announced the news at the company’s recent investor event where the chipmaker demonstrated Android running on a 64-bit platform for the first time. “It’s not only about Windows 64-bit, we’ve been talking about Android as well,” noted Eul via CNET. “We have 64-bit Windows shipping next quarter and, needless to say, we’ll run fast to make this happen on Android as well.”
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) widely-used Android mobile operating system currently only runs in a 32-bit mode. Although Intel’s 64-bit Bay Trail chip is found in various tablets and hybrid mobile devices made by Apple’s competitors, it still runs a 32-bit version of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8.1 operating system. At the iPhone premiere event earlier this year, Apple noted that the iPhone 5S is the world’s first and only 64-bit smartphone. Apple also pointed out that the new iOS 7 software was specifically designed to take advantage of the 64-bit architecture of the A7 chip.
Intel is not the only chipmaker working on a 64-bit mobile processor. Soon after, Apple unveiled the 64-bit A7 processor for the iPhone 5S in September, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) promised that it would soon reveal its own 64-bit mobile processor. “Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” said Samsung mobile business chief Shin Jong-Kyun via the Korea Times.
Samsung reiterated its plans for a 64-bit mobile processor at its “Analyst Day” event earlier this month. “Let me just tell you, we are — we have planned for it, we are marching on schedule,” stated president of Samsung’s System LSI, Dr. Namsung Stephen Woo via Apple Insider. “We will offer the first 64-bit AP based on ARM’s (NASDAQ:ARMH) own core [reference design].” According to an unconfirmed “industry source” cited by the Taipei-based DigiTimes, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is also expected to soon roll out a 64-bit processor in 2014.
Data from market research firm Gartner recently showed that Samsung held a 32.1 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market in the third-quarter compared to Apple’s 12.1 percent share. However, despite its majority share of the smartphone market, the Korea-based company is widely perceived as an imitator of Apple’s innovations. For example, Apple was recently awarded $290 million in damages over Samsung’s infringement of five of the iPhone maker’s patents.
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