One year after Apple’s 64-bit A7, Nvidia announces first 64-bit processor for Android

“Chipmaker Nvidia on Tuesday detailed the new ‘Denver’ variant of its Tegra K1 mobile processor, a high-performance in-order design that represents the first foray into 64-bit processing for Android devices — nearly a full year after Apple shocked the mobile world with its own 64-bit A7 processor,” Sam Oliver reports for AppleInsider.

“Like Apple’s A7, Denver is compatible with the ARMv8 architecture,” Oliver reports. “There is no word on which device will be the first to ship with Denver, though Nvidia does promise full pin compatibility with 32-bit Tegra K1 variants for easier integration. The first 64-bit version of Android is currently in testing and is slated for release this fall.”

“Chipmakers have been scrambling to catch up with Apple’s 64-bit A7, which the company unveiled alongside the iPhone 5s in September of last year. The chip’s surprise introduction was said to have left industry insiders ‘slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared,'” Oliver reports. “‘Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this,’ a Qualcomm employee said at the time. ‘It’s being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In other words: Almost in time for Apple’s A8, but actually not.

Apple leads. The wannabes follow at a great distance.

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  1. “The first 64-bit version of Android is currently in testing and is slated for release this fall.”

    I thought a year ago MDN said that a 64 bit Android was going to be next to impossible to build. Something about a Java connection as an inhibitor was mentioned. What happened?

    1. Google just gave their developers a new langue for 64bit, without Java. It was one of several things that they quickly announced toward the end of their show. So no one covered it. Oh yea because 64bit is so unimportant /s.

      1. Wrong. Material Design is not a new PROGRAMMING language but a new DESIGN language. It is still written in Java. The claims that “a 64 bit Android was going to be next to impossible to build” was merely more Android bashing from the same people that have been predicting Android’s failure for the last 6 years.

        1. Android’s “Success” if you want to call it that, is to present the world with a very popular, widely used, unprofitable rip off of the iPhone that lacks the security, elegance, and cache. It serves the population of rabid Apple hating “fandroids” who love to bash Apple being “wildly behind” in terms of features and marketshare, meanwhile ignoring the massive security problems (99% of all mobile malware targets Android, and there are recent security problems that are very serious that will likely never be patched for most handsets), and ignoring the fragmentation, and in the case of US buyers, ignoring the fact that they are sending money overseas that could go back into their own economy in the form of buying Apple products.

          IP theft matters, even if US courts turn a blind eye, it means less innovation in the future and less incentive to take big risks. Samsung the most profitable of IP thieves has made a long career from stealing other people’s ideas and getting away with it. Rewarding them is the same as buying from someone after they burglarized your next door neighbors house thinking that you won’t be next.

          Programming on Android is similar.

    2. You tech experts out there: What advantages does a 64-bit chip have if it is socket-compatible with an existing 32-bit processor? Aren’t all the data and address lines going to be limited to 4-byte transmission?

      1. Presumably, the CPU and memory and maybe some other things are all included in the one package. Therefore, the lack of more pins doesn’t hurt it as much as you might think.

        1. How can memory on Android be addressed in 64bits when they’ve gone to such lengths to keep it on memory cards, which have to be addressed through the 32bit bus? The 64bit processor may have 64bit registers and caches, and some 64bit RAM, but most of the rest is still going to be limited to 32 bit widths pathways.

  2. Wow,,,, this is incredible…. In your face apple,
    Now, you just wait another year to have a OS for it and another year to make it work in the android fragmented world and apple will have some serious competitor…. But in the past ..
    See you in two years android, from my quantum processor enable iPhone.

    1. “Now, you just wait another year to have a OS for it”

      Wrong. Android L is already 64 bit.

      “and another year to make it work in the android fragmented world”

      Wrong. A 64 bit Nexus running Android L will ship this fall. And if you are going to play the “fragmented” thing … isn’t every Apple iPad and iPhone that is more than a year old a 32 bit machine? Hmmm … will they be able to upgrade to iOS 8?

      And incidentally, Android is #1 in global market share. Apple put tons of Android features in iOS 8. Tim Cook saw fit to denigrate Android at WWDC. Apple is copying the phablet form factor, and is dumping 4 year old iPhones into India as fast as they can to prevent Xiaomi from getting a real foothold there. Sorry, but the competition already exists whether you guys acknowledge it or not.

      1. “Wrong. Android L is already 64 bit. ”

        Having a 64-bit Android OS in the lab and having it ready for consumer… oh, wait… do you have a 64-bit Android OS on your phone now? No? So… wait another year, then?

        “Wrong. A 64 bit Nexus running Android L will ship this fall.”

        He said “another year to make it work”. Going by Android’s past history in OS updates, that seems to be about right. And how many Android users will be able to upgrade to this version?

        “isn’t every Apple iPad and iPhone that is more than a year old a 32 bit machine? ”

        So? Fragmented is: dozens of different VERSIONS of Android phones OSes (forks, etc.)… dozens of different screen resolutions… dozens of different CPUs/GPUs/RAM/Storage space etc. … dozens of differing hardware specs (some with accelerometers, some without, some with GPS, some without…)… multiplied exponentially by all different vendors…


        About a dozen (?) different models all more or less standard screen res, specs etc. with backwards compatibility going back to 3 generations?

        If the former isn’t fragmentation, I don’t know what is. you really are reaching for straws here, aren’t you?

        And yay. you’re right. Android is #1 in global marketshare. So? Ask all the Android phone manufacturers (Samsung included): how’s the profit share coming along?

        Xiaomi: you know the reason why they are gaining the marketshare everyone seems to prize so highly? Yup. They are copying as much as possible the “loser” Apple iPhone.

        Hyperbole from you: would you like to list the “tons” of Android features in iOS 8? While conveniently ignoring the fact that Android is a rip-off of iOS in the first place?

        Competition: define competition. Apple doesn’t go after the cheap $99 “smartphone” market… which seems to be where most of the Android growth is coming from. Ask Samsung and others how well their higher end smartphones (that DO compete with Apple as far as specs, features, pricing etc are concerned) are doing?

        And I really need to get a life. I’m feeding the troll.


      2. “Hmmm … will they be able to upgrade to iOS 8?”

        Yes, even the good old iPad 2 that came out March 2011 can run iOS 8.. Oh and we don’t have to wait for the carriers to let us upgrade either.

    2. At least Apple isn’t exploiting the advantage of the 64-bit iOS and chips in their iOS devices in any TV ads. It could get stupid people to ask the question, “If I choose to own a superior 64-bit computer, why should I buy an inferior 32-bit device.”

      Apple, keep hiding your advantages until everyone can get enough time to copy your IT. Idiots. How about at least 1 TV ad about Apple’s advanced technology vs. another about my verse or new iOS device colors. Is there anyone in the PR department that can do 2 things at ones in maybe 1 ad? How about a new ad every 2 weeks or so? How about a ad competition with the winner’s ad as the outline for a polished version or air the winning ads.

      If only Apple had a few extra millions to use to do real PR again. Like, “I am a Mac and I am a PC” again. Is Apple afraid they will have to make even more devices to keep up with the increase in demand?

      1. Once you make it about numbers to the general public, they latch onto it. The public simply sees two 64-bit devices and chooses the cheaper one.

        However, Apple’s ads often focus on things that are NOT easily comparable and focuses on how people are actually USING the devices, as opposed to some benchmark number. In other words, Apple focuses on the apps and use cases that are made possible by 64-bit… so they don’t need to mention 64-bit.

        The result is that people see what the device does, not what it possibly may be able to do.

        It’s a harder path to trod down from a marketing perspective, but even harder to copy. Focus on the WHY and the HOW and WHAT are easy.

    1. It has already happened with Android L. The next Google Nexus 8 will be 64 bit with Android, and the very site that contains that click bait already previewed it.

      Android L was designed knowing that a 64 bit processor was on the way. So, the only issue is for Android app developers to take advantage. But some people familiar with Android development states that merely recompiling the old apps will cause them to become 64 bit apps (whether this is true or not I do not know … I personally doubt it).

      1. 32 bit Apps simply do not “recompile” into 64 bit apps, any more than a VW bug becomes a Lamborghini when you stick a logo the hood.

        I know you have a hard-on for Android and can’t bear the thought that Apple could be superior to Android in any way, and you tirelessly drone about your “superior” operating system. The fact is that Android simply would not exist without the iPhone, it is a rip off of an incredible device that took almost 10 years to develop, and while it may have a few features that the iPhone lacks (chiefly large screen), it is a very popular piece of crap.

        It lacks security, easy of use, integration, and frankly as it is a rip off of something truly novel by a giant spying advertising company, buying, developing for, and supporting Android means two things:

        1. You support theft, and especially theft of ideas, which means you do not want to see true innovation rewarded in the future and do not want it to occur at all. By implication it also means if you have any innovative ideas yourself you do not believe they deserve to be protected by IP laws.
        2. You are settling for second rate rip offs, are okay with fragmentation, insecurity, and have no problem contributing to the dumbing down of technology. You have no taste.

    2. Actually there may not be much optimization needed if at all for the majority of Android apps. Remember that most are developed to run exclusively on the Dalvik VM so the Apps themselves need not be optimized to run perfectly well, albeit perhaps faster, on the 64 bit Android versions. I expect the “catch-up” time to actually be a bit shorter this time round.

  3. Apple sold millions of iPhones with the A7 last September and when Apple released, last September, their 64 bit “Earthquake Of A Surprise,” Samsung’s CEO and the rest of the Android world had adverse negative reactions to this announcement. If I remember correctly, Nvidia’s spokesperson came out and had some “regrettable” trash talking that had to be retracted. It now appears that Nvidia is finally announcing their 64 bit chip with no chip release date. If my math serves me correctly, based on the timeline that they are on with past releases, they will be 1.5 years behind Apple in getting this into a shipping product. Keep in mind that it might even longer if we are speaking Apples-to-Apples; that would be if they are able to match the same volume as Apple. (Doubt that!) It will be interesting to see what new surprises Apple announces that will be built into the new A8 chip; prepare for more negative trash talking and additional retractions.

  4. Pure sickness:

    “Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this,” a Qualcomm employee said at the time. “It’s being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry.”

    Well I guess that just goes to show that Apple is the only straight company. I mean if say Qualcomm were to try something like this, they’d have to kick the guys in the balls and the women in the vaginas. Kind of a crossing the line thing to do but hey they probably have Amurdercans on staff and everyone knows how they’ll do anything violent.

  5. These reports are wrong. This is merely the first 64 bit ARM processor for Android. Asus began selling Android tablets on 64 bit Bay Trail Intel processors months ago. Intel began promoting their Bay Trail chips to Android OEMs a couple of years back but have not been able to find many takers. Intel was originally going to focus on making the Bay Trail chips for Windows tablets, but when they saw the nonexistent sales for those devices, they shifted to making them for Android devices midstream. Had they focused on Android from the outset, these chips would have been available in late 2013.

    Unfortunately, trying to carry water for Microsoft made the Bay Trail CPUs come too late, because now HTC, LG and everyone else (but Samsung who makes their own chips) are going to use the Nvidia processors mentioned above. Incidentally, Nvidia is now rivaling the Nexus line as the best Android tablets available.

    1. A down vote for providing factual information? (The only opinion was “Nvidia is now rivaling the Nexus line as the best Android tablets available” … hardly controversial.) Seriously? Honestly, why would pointing out that Bay Trail 64 bit CPUs already exist in Asus tablets garner a down vote?

      Mac Daily News parroted this headline from Apple Insider. They are the ones that are wrong.

      1. Being a champion of Android and Android gear on a Mac and Apple friendly blog/website is like going to Yankee Stadium wearing a LA Dodger Jersey. People are territorial about their technology like they are about their beer and sports teams.

        Also I mentioned above the issue with being an Android fan in the first place. ^^

      2. Not down voted for “factual information”. You’ve likely been down voted for putting an inaccurate slant on pretty much an irrelevant point.

        The reality is that Intel does NOT ship chips for Windows or for Android. Intel ships chips. Period.

        It does not matter at all to Intel what OS the OEM decides to tweak to run on their chips. Intel chips run several dozen different OSes. Thus your statement, “Intel was originally going to focus on making the Bay Trail chips for Windows tablets, but when they saw the nonexistent sales for those devices, they shifted to making them for Android devices midstream.”, is 100% bogus.

        Besides, how is the following statement relevant to anything actually shipping? “Intel began promoting their Bay Trail chips to Android OEMs a couple of years back but have not been able to find many takers.” NVidia and others talk about product timelines for *YEARS* before actual products ship! Hell, with NVidia’s history of doing “paper launches” months before their product actual ships, it might be November, December, or later before the chips ship in quantity. Therefore it could easily be that actual products shipping in quantity might not happen until 2015.

        Further, Bay Trail is not in the same league as the vast majority of ARM based chips used in smartphones. Hell, only an idiot would have put a Q3 2013 Bay Trail chip into a smartphone. That phone with a processor with a 2.2 Watt draw (see Intel’s own website for that tidbit) will have a horrific battery life.

        Apple’s 64 bit chip ran the full gamut from smartphone to small tablet to full tablet. Bay Trail even today does not support that range and likely won’t for another year or more.

        Will NVidia’s Denver chip be relegated to just tablets (and large phablets) only? We’ll have to see. If it is, the ARM based smartphones will be just that much further behind Apple.

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