ARM has revealed it expects Android smartphones and tablets with 64-bit processors will arrive in time for Christmas.
The iPhone 5S launched last year with a 64-bit processor but Android smartphones and tablets haven't caught up, not yet anyway. With 2014 flagships including the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2 all come with similar chips to last year, we were a little disappointed. However, ARM says this is the year for the technology to arrive. See also: The 23 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.
In an interview with CNET, Tom Lantzsch, ARM's executive vice president of corporate strategy, said: "We believe the capability will be there for a 64-bit phone by Christmas," referring to both smartphones and tablets.
"Certainly, we've had big uptick in demand for mobile 64-bit products. We've seen this with our [Cortex] A53, a high-performance 64-bit mobile processor," added Lantzsch "We've been surprised at the pace that [64-bit] is now becoming mobile centric. Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Marvell are examples of public 64-bit disclosures."
Qualcomm is planning to launch its 64-bit Snapdragon 808 and 810 processors early next year.
64-bit Android: better performance and battery life
It's unclear when a 64-bit version of Android will be released but this news hints that it will arrive later this year, possibly on a new Nexus smartphone, tablet or both. There are plenty of rumours surrounding the Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Nexus 10 2. We could hear more details from Google at its I/O conference.
Even if a 64-bit Android doesn't tip up this year, ARM says it will benefit existing software. "Even existing 32-bit code will run more efficiently on [ARM's 64-bit] v8-A architecture than on native 32-bit ARM architecture," said Lantzsch, adding that it will also improve battery life, responsiveness and features.