64-bit support coming to Android 4.4 KitKat?

by: Chris SmithSeptember 17, 2013

64-bit Intel chips for Android

New reports say that 64-bit support is coming to Android in the near future – maybe as soon as Android 4.4 KitKat – or at least that’s what a recent Intel presentation seems to imply.

The image above is taken from a presentation given by Intel at its Developer Forum last week, where the company talked about its computing plans for the future, touching on various operating systems including Windows and Android.

As you can see in the picture, 64-bit support is mentioned as an upcoming “enhancement” for Android devices that will have Intel chips under the hood.

While Intel didn’t specifically confirm that 64-bit support is coming to Android 4.4 KitKat, it would make sense to see that happen considering the recent interest in mobile processors with such powers.

Apple was first to announce a mobile device that will have a chip with 64-bit support – the iPhone 5S with an Apple A7 inside – but it won’t be the only company to offer such products.

Samsung has also confirmed that its mobile devices will support 64-bit processing in the future, and now Intel is apparently saying that its mobile chips are ready to do the same.

In fact, Intel’s current Bay Trail Atom chips “are certified as ‘Intel 64’ chips,” which means they’re ready to offer 64-bit support.

Not to mention that we already know ARM’s next-gen of mobile chips will come with 64-bit support.

Interestingly, during IDF 2013 Intel was joined on stage by Google, as Sundar Pichai himself made an appearance to talk about Chrome and Android. From the looks of it, the chipmaker is more and more interested to increase its presence in the Android ecosystem.

That said, don’t get too excited about 64-bit processing just yet, no matter how interesting it may sound – and we’ll have to wait a while to see whether Android 4.4 KitKat will indeed offer such functionality. But it seems more than clear that 64-bit chips will be found in more and more mobile devices in the coming years, so it’s logical to speculate that Google will be ready to support them with future versions of its operating systems.

Google is rumored to unveil the next Nexus smartphone alongside Android 4.4 KitKat on October 14.

  • Piyush

    i am liking the words “highly tuned dalvik”.

    • jjordan

      Yea I have to agree with you on that. All it means really is super smooth and super longevity for older os migration

    • Blowntoaster

      amen to that…

    • thartist

      A lot
      (eyes wet in anticipation)

  • sourabh

    after a month,all our doubts will be cleared

  • Ryan

    Apple not just announced, but released 64-bit. Intel is just an announcement with release you don’t know when

    • hoggleboggle

      not quite. The iphone 5s hasn’t hit the markets just yet, hence the announced. but in a few days that will be different.

    • K.

      As the article says, Intel current Bay Trail (which have not been used on a device yet) are 64 bit cpus. It’s not just an announcement for the future.

      • mobilemann

        There are actually a couple of theories saying the die size on the A7 is to small for the transistor count Apple is claiming, to small for TMSC and Samsung to build.

        not to small for intel. I wonder where these A7s are being made? ;)

  • Jas

    Don’t assume people know what 64bit is. If you’re going to write an article on it, at least explain what it is and what does it does.

    • Daniel

      Google it

    • Seth Forbus

      If you don’t know what 64 bit is you probably shouldn’t be reading a tech blog.

  • raj

    Waiting for my KitKat

  • raj

    Waiting to use 4.4 on my Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    It will be LEGEN wait for it DARY!!!!

    • someone


  • Santeri

    Thanks for adding me as one of the sources guys. Also I want to point out that in January or February timeframe there were reports from AndroidCentral.com that were confirming the beginning of the 64-bit support development for the next bigger version of Android :)

  • Blowntoaster

    I already ate two android kitkats… :)

  • hoggleboggle

    I seriously doubt we will see any real improvement with the introduction of 64bit just yet regardless of platform. For Apple, aside from scoring marketing points for being the first, this is more of a prep for future phones by building a large base of 64bit capable devices.

    • joiedevivre

      there will be more fragmentation for sure.
      and lot of headache for developers..

      • Anders CT

        Fragmentation is to honest the least of headaches when developing for Android. And Android will manage multiple hw-architectures better than most other OS’es. That whole “fragmentation is destroying Android” thing is just not true.

      • Markuzy

        Think about PC fragmentation and how people dealt with it

        • Mike0001


    • abazigal

      For the iphone at least, users like anandtech are reporting noticeable speed increases due to 64-bit alone (not from ram).

      I agree with you about the prep-work though. It will be another 3 years before the iphone and ipad have 4gb of ram. By that time, most, if not all, apps would support 64-bit; while most users would be sporting at least a 5s. Announcing this now would make the transition more painless.

    • mobilemann

      what about the expanded computational space for the ALU? What about the extra registers? Some apps will get an instant boost!

      • hoggleboggle

        unless they have been coded to take advantage of the added registers or the ability to run longer integer strings you won’t see any difference. Over time apps and the API will be re-written to take advantage of this, but for now any boost in performance will come from the improved processor, not the 32/64 switch. Look at the desktop market and how long it took software writers to make use of 64bit platforms (Linux, Windows or OSX). Don’t expect anything different from the mobile market.

        • mobilemann

          well, apps can get boosts instantly by recompiling to take advantage of frameworks used in both android and iOS which have been re coded to take advantage of such things,

          so, again, no.

          • lepoop

            unless your app is doing tons of 64bit number crunching the addition of extra registers may be offset by larger instruction sizes and cache misses.

          • mobilemann

            depends on the app.

  • Anders CT

    The real question is, what 64-bit devices will Android 4.4 run on? Laptops? Notebooks? Gaming consoles? Dildos?

    “It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”

    They want to bring computing to everyone, everywhere. They want to plug every hole. Think about it.

  • j7.deville

    I really hope Stock Android gets a newer look, I know you can customize Android to death with Nova Launcher and roms (currently running CM 10.2 on my GS4) but Sometimes I just want the Plain vanilla look, I just hope it’s not just unseen improvements but visual ones as well, I mean Google really has a chance to take things to another level.

    I loaded ios 7 GM on my wives ipad mini for her and one day she left it at home while at work (i do graphic design, I work from home) I explored ios 7 to death and I must say although it’s just a row of Icons I really like the Flat almost Retro Look, Something I would think google would Start to do with Their OS considering Google has been giving all their apps an update with a more Google Now Flat look, such as youtube and gmail ect. Anyways this is obviously MO.

  • Mubashir Mazhar
  • wric01

    64 bit is only needed when you hit over the 4 gig ram mark. As mobile devices are still in the 3 gig mark there is no need for it.

    • PolarBear

      Next year’s Android Flagships will be coming with 4GB of RAM. Example: Samsung Galaxy S5.

  • Manny

    I just purchased an HTC one, reasons for this 1) is faster than Samsung(proofed my self) 2) sound quality is much better and 3) sheaper! Pricewise! So I really don’t get this advertising. Also I like the way it looks the HTC one (format) better than S4. And last but not least, metal cover for a better protection!!!


    Cmon android let’s crush apple >:)

  • Joshua Lim

    Now the propable question for the 4.4 is the requirement. Now Samsung is known to exaggerate when it comes to new smartphones. I mean. Why would you increase the ram to 3gb or higher if the apps itself will only require less than 1 or 2 gb of ram? 2nd. If ios has parallax effect. Would it be better if you create a hybrid live and parallax wallpaper? 3rd. The most important is how does it manage the sensors when it is not needed. Where it would be activated if the user ask for it.
    4th is the shortcut scroll where it is organized w/o the necessity of scrolling it from the menu. 5th is how the libraries are well arrange w/o downloading an app to function as a file explorer.

  • Mike0001

    At last! Phones that support more than 4Gb RAM and will address terabytes of internal storage! I so have been waiting for that!

  • Made_In_America_2012

    Keep on dreaming boys cuz you ain’t gunna be seein’ 64 bit android based systems anytime soon. “Google” Google once and you will see they are desperately trying to make a mobile form of Chrome because they no that android can’t cut it. Samsung would be better off trying to mod Ubuntu and put the UI over that.