Qualcomm has revealed its first 64-bit mobile processor, and it won’t be coming to a smartphone near you in the immediate future.
The so-called Snapdragon 410 is being targeted, not at high-end smartphones here in the west, but at affordable handsets in the rapidly emerging eastern market. Yep, China’s going to get this 64-bit chip first.
It seems as if the biggest feature of the Snapdragon 410 will be its integrated '4G LTE World Mode,' which will enable it to operate on China’s new 4G network, as well as any other 4G network around the globe.
The Snapdragon 410 is built using a 28nm process, and incorporates the new Adreno 306 GPU. The latter will enable 1080p video playback and up to 13-megapixel cameras in low-end devices.
Widespread 4G connectivity appears to be the thrust of Qualcomm’s message, and it’s notable that the new chip is being described merely as "64-bit capable." With all but one mobile OS (Apple’s iOS 7) operating on a 32-bit architecture, the new Qualcomm chip can’t fulfil its potential just yet.
As Qualcomm’s senior vice president and chief operating officer Jeff Lorbeck says, "the Snapdragon 410 chipset will also be the first of many 64-bit capable processors as Qualcomm Technologies helps lead the transition of the mobile ecosystem to 64-bit processing."
Qualcomm is evidently launching its 64-bit chip architecture ahead of the release of a 64-bit Android OS in a bid to become the default choice for a whole new generation of smart devices.
Back in October, one Qualcomm executive made the mistake of dismissing Apple’s pioneering jump into 64-bit mobile computing as a "marketing gimmick." He was promptly removed from his position, and it’s now easy to see why.
The Snapdragon 410 CPU will make its way to consumer devices in the second half of 2014.
Next, read: What is 64-bit? iPhone 5S A7 chip explained