Qualcomm insider claims that Apple's 64-bit A7 CPU caused panic among chipmakers

Qualcomm insider claims that Apple's 64-bit A7 CPU caused panic among chipmakers
Chipmaking industry top executives have been putting a brave face ever since Apple outed its 64-bit A7 chip along with the iPhone 5s, but if a story shared by an alleged Qualcomm insider is to be believed, the in-house system-on-chip actually “set off panic” among silicon vendors.

Quoted by HubSpot, the insider claims that the A7 hit Qualcomm “in the gut”:

Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It’s not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won’t benefit. But in Spinal Tapterms it’s like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it.” says the insider. “Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this. It’s being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry.”

That's despite the knee-jerk reaction of one Qualcomm executive, that labeled the chip a marketing gimmick, the same executive that was promptly reassigned after Qualcomm issued a statement refuting the former's statement. More importantly, not long after the iPhone 5s debut, both Qualcomm and Samsung announced their own transition plants. Be that as it may, chipmakers apparently didn't view the transition towards a 64-bit architecture with too much interest initially, and reportedly thought it wasn't worth the R&D spending at the time.

The roadmap for 64-bit was nowhere close to Apple’s, since no one thought it was that essential,” says the insider. “The evolution was going to be steady. Sure, it’s neat, it’s the future, but it’s not really essential for conditions now.”

Whether you decide to trust the alleged insider's story or not, there's no denying that the competition has jumped on the bandwagon almost instantaneously, and that, more than anything, should signal just how close to home the above claims really are.

source: HubSpot via Apple Insider

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82 Comments

82. COZMAN

Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

"Of course you did. We believe you. No one ever lies on the internet after all, especially not to push their own biased agendas". At least we all know that someone on here is paranoid. A critique of a product I have owned is anything but biased. What would one had to gain be being biased? That observation alone shows just how ridiculous your opinion is. Fact is that Qual is better. My G2 runs for days. An A7 chip sucks an IPHONE dry before the end of one day. Gee, what would I use for business? APPLE is not very interested in fixing an issue which has been hanging heavy on disappearing clients for a long time. They have not listened. My G2 will run for days. I can't think of one thing about the IPHONE I miss except having to plug the charger in three times per day.

78. RobotMan

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

64-bit mean noting if the operation system ( iOS ) is limited. So for all you Android fan, just let them be.

77. renart

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 11, 2013

Can anybody tell me what the meaning of 'transition plants? please????

71. Mube007

Posts: 260; Member since: Sep 24, 2013

Well right now i really dnt like iphone just bcoz of its tiny screen...may be iphone 6 have atleast 4.7 inch screen which i m eagerly wating for

70. Mube007

Posts: 260; Member since: Sep 24, 2013

Well right now i really dnt like iphone just bcoz of its tiny screen...may be iphone 6 have atleast 4.7 inch screen which i m eagerly wating for

46. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Intel is launching far superior 64bit 14nm x86 chips at the end of 2014 for smart phones and tablets. The a7 is a beast and no other arm CPU OEMS can compete. Intel is the only one who can match their per core perfornance. and power use.

51. tedkord

Posts: 17516; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

We'll have to see about power efficiency.

55. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

I'd stay away from Baytrail running Android. There are possibly too many compatibility issues and the GPU is simply not up to par. And FYI : the x86 origins from *1978* and is arguably considered THE worst architecture known to mankind.

37. tedkord

Posts: 17516; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Certainly it caught the industry by surprise. But Qualcomm announced that 64bit mobile ARM SOCs were coming Q1 2014 over a year ago. People are acting like companies are rushing these out because of the A7 when they were always coming at this time.

39. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Not just people, in the article that you replied to it seems that companies were surprised as well. As long as my phone is butter smooth under all conditions I don't see the need to smash out 40 core processors and 15gb of ram. That stuff has to actually be used.

50. tedkord

Posts: 17516; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I know they were surprised. But they aren't rushing out 64bit CPUs in response. They were always coming out Q1 of 2014, as Qualcomm announced long before the iPhone 5s launch.

54. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Anyone can announce anything. Without a 64-bit OS, a 64-bit SoC is completely useless. I don't think Qualcomm actually planned a 64-bit SoC for Q1 2014. Now that Google is probably rushing 64-bit Android, it could arrive autumn 2014 on N6 maybe.

31. COZMAN

Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

You mean APPLE hit Qual in the toe? LOL. I had a 5S. Not a spectacular speed machine and over powering in many areas. Qual has nothing to worry about. it is the other way around. The propaganda print to make APPLE seem they are bigger than they are or ever were is a brilliant marketing angle but it is now a very tired idea. APPLE is not "special".

52. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Qualcomm has nothing to worry about? I'd say Qualcomm is the one who got hit the hardest by the A7. First, Qualcomm is forced to change its roadmap drastically. Changing the roadmap is the hardest for SoC vendors, much harder than for HW or SW vendors. Second, Qualcomm has to work on the 64-bit AOSP, a hell of workload. Third and the most, Qualcomm has to support BOTH Aarch32 and Aarch64 for its upcoming 64-bit SoCs for a very very long time while Apple can ditch Aarch32 completely as early as 2014 or as late as 2015 since the transition is almost done already.

64. GeekyGene

Posts: 88; Member since: Aug 25, 2013

"I had a 5S. Not a spectacular speed machine and over powering in many areas" Of course you did. We believe you. No one ever lies on the internet after all, especially not to push their own biased agendas.

29. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

If only this chip was in an iPhone 6 this year. :-(

23. Finest

Posts: 90; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

even though im an android user, i had to admit this 64bit chip by apple is really innovative compared to others, they're all at the same goal just pushing the processors to the limits and putting more cores for the GPU. im quite sure that almost all of us here did not expect this move by apple lol

7. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Apple has been a year ahead of the curve on the release of both the A6 and A7. The A6 core for core still outperforms any android on the market except the S800 and it only falls short of that because of a full 1ghz clock speed advantage for the 800. AND the A6 is at 32nm.

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I wouldn't go as far as saying a year ahead as the 805 and Bay Trail are around the corner. A6 is snappy, yes, but think about how light iOS is compared to Android. iPhone 5 is starting to stutter on iOS 7. Don't even get me started with the 4S and 4.

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Bam!!

14. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Lolol what are your thoughts proto?

18. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I haven't touched my Bosses 5 as much after the update but when I did It felt it was slower than the xperia z1 I own and that phone is on 4.2 also dammit having to go to the bottom to delete a contact? FUUUUU long press and menu FTW!!!!

21. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I want a 5S but the decrease of 1.7" is scaring me. :(

25. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

You can try it out! If you don't like it it will have a high resale value, and it will get you another phone :3

27. taikucing unregistered

my brother has ip4. I notice stutter when scrolling. The 4 is very old

32. illusionmist

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2013

iOS 7.1 beta 2 is pleasantly butter smooth again :) I can agree Apple didn't do very well with iOS 7, probably not enough time. But considering how much has to be done for the iOS & OS X team this past year, especially immediately after the executives shakeup and regroup, I'd say they still pulled a pretty impressive work.

75. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I used the 4S on iOS 7, it stutters everywhere. I have not seen a single action where the 4S is completely smooth, except maybe scrolling through the home screen. The 4 is just not even usable. Every animation has dropped frames, every app takes a few seconds to launch/load, entering text lags, it locks up and becomes unresponsive for a few seconds, etc. Yes, it's from 2010, but damn, even my old Mytouch 4G is bearable. It might be on GB, but at least some actions are still relatively smooth.

74. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The A6 performs on par with the S600 in terms of CPU, but falls behind in GPU power by about 30%. Sure, if you take the S600's +400 MHz and +2 core advantage away, it'll be blown out of the water by the A6, but that's not the point. Yes, Apple has a superior architecture in terms of clock/core performance, but Qualcomm's architecture is superior in the fact that it can achieve those higher clock speeds and accommodate those extra cores without overheating or consuming too much energy to make smartphones useless; something the A6 can't do. The A7 is definitely a beast, but only because it was using a new design based on ARM's newest architecture. Samsung and Qualcomm have already been preparing their own chips using (or referencing) ARM's new architecture for an early 2014 release, Apple was just the first to announce theirs. In early 2014, Qualcomm and Samsung will release their new chips that will stomp on the A7. Apple has the victory for right now, but it'll be short lived.

6. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Apple's best kept secret of 2013 ;)

34. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

It's called trend setter.

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