Last year, Apple boasted the world’s first 64-bit smartphone when the company announced the A7 chip in the iPhone 5S.Hardware reviewer Anand Shimpi called the A7 “seriously impressive” and “insanely good.”
Now, almost one year after that announcement, Nvidia on Monday unveiled a special variant of its Tegra K1 mobile processor codenamed “Denver,” which promises a similar 64-bit experience for Android devices.
By moving to 64-bit architecture, a device can access more system memory and random access memory (RAM) at once, which makes the computing processes snappier and more responsive for things like multitasking and opening apps.
The 64-bit push is a big deal, since it basically allows mobile phones to handle desktop-class applications much more efficiently, such as encoding and decoding video. That’s a big deal for anyone who’s ever tried recording, editing or uploading videos to YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Facebook, or elsewhere.
One Reddit user compared the difference between 32- and 64-bit functionality on the iPhone to a library, where a number of assistants must use bicycles to fetch a certain number of books.
If there were 256 books on dinosaurs, then with 32 assistants it would take 8 cycles but with 64 it would only take 4. However, if there were only 20 books on dinosaurs it would make no difference if there were 32 assistants, 64 or even 128! It would still just be one cycle.
Anandtech says Nvidia’s current 32-bit Tegra K1 “handily beats every other ARM SoC” in graphics benchmarks, but the new 64-bit Tegra K1 should outperform that chip in most tests.
But perhaps the most important aspect of Nvidia’s Denver, according to Apple Insider’s Sam Oliver, is the “architectural addition known as Dynamic Code Optimization,” which “unrolls loops, renames registers, removes unused instructions, and reorders the code in various ways for optimal speed,” according to the company. As a result, Nvidia says “this effectively doubles the performance of the base-level hardware.”
Speaking of hardware, Nvidia doesn’t mention which device(s) will be the first to ship with the new Denver chipset. But the company says the first 64-bit version of Android L is currently being prepped for a fall release, and the Denver CPU will be fully compatible with the 32-bit Tegra K1 “for ease of implementation and faster time to market,” according to Nvidia. To see the true improvements between the 32- and 64-bit Tegra K1’s, however, we’ll have to wait for benchmarks, which could be awhile.
Though Samsung and LG’s flagship Android phones have already released, Samsung still has a few handsets waiting in the wings this fall, including the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4. It’s also been rumored that Nvidia’s 64-bit Tegra K1 will also be featured in Google’s forthcoming tablet, the Nexus 8.
Read more at businessinsider.com
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