64-bit Intel Bay Trail chips to be in Windows tablets next year, maybe Android
We've all known for a while that 64-bit processors are coming to Android soon enough, and of course it won't just be Qualcomm and Samsung getting into that chipset arena. Intel wants to be part of the conversation when it comes to mobile processors, even though it hasn't been in many devices outside of Windows 8 tablets.
At an investor meeting today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that next year there will be Windows tablets running on its 64-bit Bay Trail processors. The first to market will be tablets running the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, and after that will come Android tablets although it is unclear if those will be using the 64-bit processors. Krzanich says the Android tablets could start at just $150, which doesn't sound like a device that would use a 64-bit processor. In all, Intel is hoping to see 40 million tablets shipped with its processors in 2014.
This whole move started with Apple's 64-bit A7, and 64-bit optimized iOS 7, although very few iOS apps are optimized and of course the biggest benefit of 64-bit is in allowing for more than 4GB of RAM, and iOS devices have just 1GB. On the other side of things, the Android kernel is optimized for 64-bit because it inherited that from Linux. But the OS and apps aren't optimized yet (though Intel says it is working on a 64-bit version of Android 4.4), and no Android devices have hit the 4GB RAM mark, although that should happen soon enough.
The company best set up for the 64-bit push in mobile is Microsoft, because it is bringing down full Windows to tablets. Windows RT and Windows Phone aren't 64-bit optimized (and don't really need to be just yet), but Windows 8 certainly is and there are tons of legacy apps for Windows that have been optimized for 64-bit processors for years now.