Qualcomm unveils plans for 64-bit Snapdragon 410 mobile processor

Despite labeling Apple's 64-bit A7 processor a "marketing gimmick" that offered consumers "zero benefit," Qualcomm is now heading down the 64-bit path itself.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm has announced plans to follow Apple's example and develop 64-bit processors, only Qualcomm plans to make them available for low-priced handsets.

The new Snapdragon 410 processor will also feature an integrated 4G LTE chipset and be aimed at the fast-growing Chinese market, where the company expects it to appearing in low-cost smartphones during the second half of 2014.

The move is part of Qualcomm's plan to encourage a shift to 64-bit mobile processing.

"It's a little bit chicken and the egg," said Leyden Li, Qualcomm's senior director in charge of marketing of the Snapdragon line. "We see this transition happening and we want to be there to help enable the ecosystem."

Back in October, Qualcomm's senior vice president and chief marketing officer called Apple's 64-bit A7 processor a "marketing gimmick" and claimed that it offered consumers "zero benefit."

"I know there's a lot of noise because Apple did [64-bit] on their A7," said Chandrasekher. "I think they are doing a marketing gimmick. There's zero benefit a consumer gets from that."

"Predominantly... you need it for memory addressability beyond 4GB. That's it. You don't really need it for performance, and the kinds of applications that 64-bit get used in mostly are large, server-class applications," said Chandrasekher.

In addition to 64 bit and 4G LTE, the Snapdragon 410 supports cameras up to  13-megapixel camera, 1080p video playback, and come with an Adreno 306 GPU.

The Snapdragon 410 will be built using the same 28-nanometer architecture used to manufacture the Snapdragon 800.

Qualcomm claims that phones featuring the Snapdragon 410 processors will retail for around $150.

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