Intel plans to introduce 64-bit Android devices sometime in 2014

by: Andrew GrushNovember 22, 2013

Intel logo

While some say that 64-bit CPUs are still mostly a gimmick in the mobile world, there’s no denying that Apple managed to garner up quite a bit of attention when it announced that the iPhone 5S would be the world’s first 64-bit handset, powered by the new Apple A7.

Since that time, Samsung has confirmed that they are also preparing to jump into the 64-bit phone/tablet game in 2014, with rumors suggesting that the Galaxy S5 could be their first 64-bit Android device. We’ve also heard reports that Nvidia and (to lesser extent) Qualcomm are also working on 64-bit endeavors.

Outside of the ARM camp however, 64-bit technology is nothing new, and now Intel is getting ready to bring such tech over to the Android world with its 64-bit Bay Trail Atom platform.

Speaking at an Intel investor event yesterday, Intel’s Hermann Eul reported that while most of its 64-bit efforts have been aimed at Windows, they are very much interested in bringing 64-bit computing over to Android as well. Talk is one thing, doing is another. At the event, Intel even showed off a demo of “the first ever showing of a 64-bit kernel running on Bay Trail with Android.” Impressive to say the least.

So when exactly could we see the first 64-bit Intel-powered Android tablets? According to Eul, 64-bit Bay Trail Atom devices running Windows will hit in Q1 of next year, and that they will want to “run fast” to make this happen on Android as well. Not exactly specific, though it does suggest that the first 64-bit Intel Android devices could happen as early as the first half of next year.

With just about every major chip maker starting to throw their weight behind 64-bit chips, it’s obvious that the 64-bit mobile devices era has begun. What do you think, are you looking forward to the 64-bit revolution in the mobile world, or do you feel that 32-bit processors are more than good enough for now?

  • jrop

    I’m still running 32-bit W7 on my desktop, and there have been very few times I have wished I was running 64-bit. So far (and I know this could change, though I’m skeptical just how soon it could change), I see no use for any more than 4 gigs of memory on my phone—though I don’t want to be pegged with saying that “4GB should be enough for anybody” :)

    • lambo

      That’s very wise of you. I appreciate. :)

  • MasterMuffin

    I’d like to see someone actually use Intel’s processors, Qualcomm needs more competition (yes I know Razr i and that Lenovo phone and few others had Intel inside, but they didn’t sell well)

    • Shark Bait

      I think Qualcomm need more competition yes, but I hope this comes from nvidia when there Modems get better. My issue with Intel is the divergence into 2 versions of android which may lead to compatibility issues

      • Seth Forbus

        The problem is that the Tegra 2 and 3 were great for gaming but not much else. The Tegra 4 is amazing, but everyone has a bad taste in their mouth so nobody is willing to put it in their devices even though its improved.

        • Shark Bait

          They where fine for every day usage. OEM’s choose Qualcomm over nvidia because Qualcomm make good processors, and good LTE modem’s, and then package them together, making less work (and more money) for the OEM. Nvidia hasn’t managed to do this with its top chips yet so they get overlooked.

          They do well for tablets though because these don’t usually have LTE.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Yup I thought my original Nexus 7 was a fine piece of work, I wish my new Nexus 7 FHD had a Tegra 4 as I don’t use LTE, 72 GPUs would be great, but as you say, I can see the point of Snapdragon 800s LTE Advanced built in to the chip for the Nexus 5. I’m sure my sister will love Kit Kat on the original, but I’d love a Tegra 5 Nexus 7 UD, in 14 nm, 64 bit, with a couple of hundred GPUs.

    • NeedName

      Qualcomm seriously need competition when it comes to radio chips. . .

  • Roberto Tomás

    As nice as the processors are, they were already sufficient a few years ago. I’m waiting for better screens and better IO. IPS is visible in wide angles, but the color gets muted and greyer as you move away from center — OLED is the solution. USB 3 is slow — where are the USB 3.1 devices? 4G LTE? wireless HD at full 2.0 speeds? These technologies are already developed and just sitting around, waiting to be picked up. Wake me when developers realize that there is more to a device than the CPU

    • Shark Bait

      Are you talking phones or general tech??

      • jackabood

        i think he’s talking about phone

        also i kinda agree.some mobile tech don’t evolve as fast as others

        • Shark Bait

          You think phone processors where fine a few years ago? They have come one tremendously in the last years

          • jackabood

            i said “some mobile tech”

            usb3.0 has been out since 2008 and it isn’t universal
            same as blutooth , PTP wifi technologies , VoIP (reglur sms/calls should’ve been obsolete by now ) , battery tech
            and 1 thing important is using new things

            and a part of that is
            1- mandroid era
            over the last couple of years nobody have to innovate you just have to put the same thing “slab” with improved specs until the next person

            2- nokia’s failure
            nokia was the most innovative it not just put out better specs it put awsome phones one after another and all kinds of designs it didn’t look at my old phone(n95)
            it had 5mp camera and 8GB OF STORAGE !!!!

            this may get me some hate but at this time apple is the most innovative

            i love companys who try new things opp n1 , yola phones

            it saddens me

          • Shark Bait

            I do agree these slabs are a bit samey and dull. However a big player will never change their flagship massively , theirs too much to risk.

            And it seems you are talking about a change in formfactor. Perhaps the slab we have are the best for the current times. People have experimented with things like dual screens and they where just not as good. Flexible screens and materials are on the way so I do expect we shall see some change soon.

            As to your comment about apple , I have to disagree. Dont you think their products have been purley iterative? they have done well with the fingerprint scanner so they get credit for that

          • jackabood

            i should’ve said apple is the only company that tries out of the box new things

            they take existing things and make it better look at what they did with freebsd

          • Shark Bait

            Only?? Really?? They have done some good things, but I think they are from being the most innovative electronics company

          • jackabood

            spell check that plz couldn’t understand

          • Shark Bait

            You think their the only ones that can create new things?

          • jackabood

            i’m afraid i didn’t express it the correct way

            i think they are the one of only big that is wailing to try new thing (go big or go home)

            u get my point ?

          • Shark Bait

            I understand, but I think your wrong. Eg-

            Microsoft and their surface cover
            Google and google now (and glass)
            Sony and their tablet p (walkman?)
            Samsung and the note

            No way are apple the only ones
            What do you think apple had done to be the only?

          • jackabood

            i’m afraid you misinterpreted my statement “one of the only’
            means “1 of a small sum ”

            i think we both agree that not a lot of companies make “out of the box” things

            lol sorry about my spelling mistake

            edit: i’m talking hardware pacific things

          • jackabood

            lol i just wrote a huge reply and it didn’t register


          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            I think many would be disappointed in the lack of RAM and small screen on iPhone 5, great work going 64 bit, but without more RAM, where for instance is the gaming advantage.

    • Seth Forbus

      My phone is waterproof. That cool enough device tech for ya? haha

      • Roberto Tomás

        yes that is a cool thing that happened recently with many phones. Also, LPDDR3 dual channel is a cool new tech that really happened. And the cameras are getting just sick. :) I guess I was too pessimistic.

        • stucrmnx120fshwf

          Sounds like fun, but with 7″ UD we’ll need 14 nm 64 bit, GRAM, WiFi ac (1GB/s,) although I think USB 3 at 5 GB/s is good enough, more is nearly always merrier.

    • abazigal

      I actually see 64-bit as an important step to push mobile computing to the next level, because it paves the way for a new category of mobile productivity apps which weren’t feasible before. All those improvements you just stated are nice to have, but they don’t really let me do anything I can’t already do on my device.

  • Groud Frank

    I suppose this silly rush to 64-bit had to happen just like the mega pixel rush happened. Like all of them, there is no real benefit to the consumer and a whole lot of market fluff that consumers will just eat up. There is no need for a phone with > 4 GB RAM now. Before that, we have to address a number of issues like app optimization, developing more powerful SoC to make effective use of the RAM increase, bottlenecking, and all the power consumption, battery life and heat dispersal problems that comes with the territory.

    • NeedName

      actually, there is a very big benefit to ARM’s 64-bit chips. The benefit is the new armv8 instruction set. . . big improvements in efficiency and performance, and that will happen regardless of any other optimization via the apps, OS, or ram. That’s why apple’s new SoC does so well.

      There’s more to ARM’s new chips than just “64-bit.”

      • jackabood

        this is intel so they’ll never make an ARM chip

      • Groud Frank

        Those improvements are not the result of the processor’s 64 bit status. The selling point these OEMs and semiconductors is “64 bit”. They are giving the impression that it is just about 64 bit.

        • NeedName

          of course. . . yes, they will use whatever buzzword works for marketing. Nonetheless, that will not change the fact that the armv8 instruction set will bring useful benefits to us, without having 4GB ram or reworked apps.

          That instruction set will only be in this next gen ARM 64-bit SoC, thus, it is a good thing. People need to stop looking at only the “64-bit” part, though I don’t know exactly what Intel is bringing to the table, don’t follow them these days.

          Nonetheless, ARM 64-bit SoC = Good :)

      • Cao Meo

        “big improvements in efficiency”

        64 bit will be less efficient than 32 bit, but more powerful.

        • NeedName

          wrong. . .

          from ARM in reference to the A53 core.

          “It delivers more performance at higher power efficiency than the Cortex-A9 processor, and is capable of deployment as a standalone main applications processor which defines today’s high-end mobile platforms.”

          The A53 core increases battery life while giving similar performance as today’s high end smartphones, and the A57 will give much higher performance with the same battery life as current high end smartphones today.

          Both cores are more efficient.

          • Cao Meo

            64 bit has more bandwidth, that’s means more transistors and so more power is required.

            ARM must use some other technologies to improve power efficiency (28nm is one of them), and overall efficiency may improves.

            but that’s not because of 64 bit.

          • NeedName

            no one, not me certainly, said the efficiency was due to 64-bit alone or at all. I’ve been stating over and over the big deal is armv8 instruction set. . . and that only comes with ARM’s new 64-bit chips, which are overall much more efficient than current chips.

          • Nebojsa Trebjesanin

            Actually I think arm8 comes in 64-bit AND 32-bit versions, and it is quite possible that they measured A53 core that is 32-bit version. Now, do you have any links that say 64-bit A53 core is faster (and how much?) and at the same time more power efficient than 32-bit A9 (ofc how much)?

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Please to remember next year we go 14 nm, up to UD 4k in 7″, that’s 14nm GPU, CPU, GRAM, 4x the transistors, running twice the speed, to drive UD gaming, not just play and record as we can already do. For example Tegra 5, with a couple of hundred GPU cores, puffing 4 GB of 6 GB for 4k gaming, is why we need 64 bit.

    • abazigal

      We know the transition is going to be messy and chaotic. The Android device landscape consists of quite a few major players, each of which has little incentive to coordinate their roadmaps with the others. All the more sense to start now, rather than keep delaying the inevitable. Someone has to make the first move, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest follow suit.

    • lambo

      uhh, rather than 64-bit processor, I prefer 64-hours battery life… :P

      • NeedName

        That’s where we need some major improvements in displays and battery. Displays are the biggest battery drainer today. . the SoC isn’t that bad in comparison. Samsung purchased Liquavista a while back but I’ve heard nothing as of late. They were supposed to release a screen based on that tech last year. . .

      • On a Clear Day

        Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if the manufacturers instead of endlessly, desperately seeking to lay claim to some new techno wizbang feature – so they can make the hollow marketing claim of being “first” and more revolutionary – again – took a breather and focused on solving some of the long term, glaring problems associated with cell phones? Namely, battery life and poor audio sound quality.

        Yes, I know somewhere out there IF you have the right phone on THE right, compatible network a thing called HD voice supposedly is up and running, and chips by Audience and now the truly revolutionary ceramic audio tech known as Sonic Sound by Kyocera exists – but all the talk is about 64 bit processors which in theory (and reality) do hold great potential – sometime in the future – but at the moment really don’t make no never mind in practical terms.

        Kyocera Sonic Sound if you aren’t familiar with it:

  • Bone

    That leave pretty much AMD without recent pocket chips. Wonder why they aren’t into the budget category, there’s a lot to gain there.

    • Ben Bauer

      If AMD comes out with an APU for a tablet or smartphone, I would have to buy it! Radeon graphics on smartphones would be very impressive

      • jackabood

        i thought APU are a part of mobile SOC’S ??

        • stucrmnx120fshwf

          Yes they are, accelerated processing units are a part of system on a chips for mobile (combined GPU/CPU cores on the one chip,) he just means he’d like to see AMD with it’s expertise in 64 bit, hundreds of GPU cores in the mobile space.

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        I’d love to see them compete with Nvidia in 14nm, 64 bit, UD mobile.

    • lambo

      AMD APU had been very successful with latest console (AMD 8-core Jaguar on XOne and PS4). They need to focus there first.

  • wat

    Waiting for 1080p quad core 64bit windows tablets still. WITH WACOM DIGITIZER PLEASE

    • filaos

      Surface Pro 2.

      • wat

        Surface Pro 2 is dual core U CPU. Also want ATOM like pricing

  • Ben Bauer

    Intel does some great work with their desktop processors, I would really like to see what they can do with smartphones.

    • Cao Meo

      I disagree, the PCs we use are more and more power hungry every year. Intel became a monopoly and stagnant, ARM has woken it up, hopefully that will make Intel much better.

      We saw some encouraging signs but Intel still has much to do.

      • Tesla

        “PC we use are more and more power hungry every year”


        Core i7 870 2.9ghz stock

        Idle: 98 watts (average)

        Load: 195 watts (average)

        Core i7 3770k 3.5ghz stock

        Idle: 75 watts (average)

        Load: 160 watts (average)

        It may not be much but still the facts don’t lie.

        • Cao Meo

          well that’s the encouraging signs I talk about.

  • Cao Meo

    interesting how they will manage power efficiency, 64-bit will require more power while most of the tasks do not require such high capacity just yet.

  • Antonio Solinas

    Who are apple,do they think they are the only Company that have 64 bit
    Tech,Sony,Samsung,LG,and other tech companys,around the world not
    Forgetting China?some of these are
    Like Sony,have been going a lot longer than apple,from Britain,German,Asian,Scandanavian,
    Apple make good products,but they are not the only ones that whose products are great in the world of
    Great Technological products?

  • Steve Jones

    pffffft , This is not even news , We’ve had Android Running on 64 bit kernels for months.