Why Apple’s powerful 64-bit A7 chip will really shine in the all-new iPad Air

“It’s pretty clear the introduction of the iPad in 2010 marked a turning point in the computer industry, one where consumers began to pivot from buying PCs to tablets,” Jamie Lendino reports for PC Magazine.

“As Apple CEO Tim Cook was quick to point out during Tuesday’s press event, the company has sold over 170 million iPads to date,” Lendino reports. “Various analyst reports over the past year have pointed to tablets being on the brink of overtaking PCs in sales.”

“The new A7 processor in Apple’s latest tablets and phones will help that even more. At first glance, this is nothing new. Every processor generation ends up being faster and more energy efficient in some way or another, so it’s rare that a new CPU itself ends up being news outside of hardcore PC enthusiast circles,” Lendino reports. “But the A7 is different. In the iPhone 5s, the A7 is basically overkill; there’s only so much power a device with a 4-inch 1,136-by-640-pixel display needs. On a tablet, though, the chip will come into its own.”

“Apple’s move to 64-bit architecture so early on at least phones, if not tablets, is months ahead of other vendors,” Lendino reports. “As new apps optimized for the A7 begin to appear, you’ll see the rewards in performance. iOS 7 is already 64-bit-aware, and as a result will run more smoothly, with better multitasking, on the iPad Air and Air mini with Retina display… All told, the A7 marks a turning point in the iPad’s evolving history, just as the introduction of the iPad itself was one for the computer industry as a whole.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Pretty clear” to most now. Not at all clear then – except to a select few for whom it was crystal clear the very day iPad was unveiled.

16 Comments

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 64-bit Android released fairly quickly. But it won’t run on any hardware outside of advertising shots. And those will be simulated screens…

      1. More likely, I”d say there will be an Android phone/table with a 64-bit processor…..but NONE of the software will take advantage of the 64-bit hardware. Not Android, not the built-in apps, nothing.

        But hey, it’ll let them market the hell out of it with more Android/Samsung deviousness and lies…

        “It’s 64-bit, just like the iPhone/iPad!!!”

  1. Wrong. The A7 is not powerful enough (GPU-wise) to drive the large retina display of the iPad Air and run all the latest graphically intensive games. The A7’s GPU is just a little bit better than the A6X. From a power efficiency standpoint it is a big improvement.

    1. Um, trying to follow your logic. — The latest graphically intensive games that currently run on the A6X won’t work on the A7 because the GPU is just a little bit better. — hmmmm.
      — The latest graphically intensive games that don’t yet run on the A6X won’t work on the A7 because the GPU is just a little bit better.– Almost works, but programmers are generally more savvy then this.
      — The latest graphically intensive games that have not yet been written won’t work on the A7 because the GPU is just a little bit better. — Only if the programmer are complete idiots.

      Nope, I think programmers will write graphically intensive games specifically for the A7 and take advantage of the amazing ecosystem Apple has created.

  2. Running “all the latest 3D games” is best done on a gaming machine or a dedicated console. Anyone who expects an iPad to be a state-of-the-art game machine is dreaming.

    However, we all applaud Apple making the first step toward 64 bit architecture in mobile devices. Future software will benefit tremendously.

    It makes me wonder if there isn’t room for a 15″ iPad Pro with a bigger battery. That would display a full sheet of paper at ~100% scale and thus destroy the MS Surface and netbooks once and for all.

    1. There’s no need for a specialized version of the A7 to drive the iPad’s Retina display. The GPU cores and bandwidth are more than sufficient in the A7 to do this already.

      As stated, the power of the GPU in the A7 is a bit overkill for the iPhone’s smallish display.

      If we do see an ‘A7X’, more than likely it’ll appear in the iPad Pro and have a quad core CPU.

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