Mobile chip maker Qualcomm has unveiled two 64-bit Snapdragon 600 chipsets for high-end mobile computing devices at the Mobile World Conference (MWC), going on now in Barcelona.
The Snapdragon 615 will be among the first 8-core processors used in mobile devices (notable other devices that feature 8-core chipsets include the Samsung Galaxy S4), and will be the first announced 8-core 64-bit mobile processor on the market.
Apple’s iPad and iPhone use a 64-bit chip, but the Apple A7 processor is dual-core. Virtually all Android devices currently run on 32-bit chips, so this is setting the bar for the future.
The Snapdragon 610 is going to be a quad-core version of the 615, but still is 64-bit. Qualcomm released its first 64-bit chipset, the Snapdragon 410, back in December 2013.
Qualcomm is making a statement with the Snapdragon 615, pushing ahead of Apple with integrated global LTE, hardware-enabled 4K video rendering, and more cores in their processors. Qualcomm likely hopes the chips will set the standard for high-end mobile devices in the coming years as the shift is made to 64-bit mobile operating systems.
Both the Snapdragon 610 and 615 will likely be ready for tablet and phone developers to begin working with in Q4 2014. However, it will probably be some time before we see devices utilizing them, as there is currently not a commercially-available 64-bit Android OS yet (though Intel did show off a version running on their 64-bit Merrifield chip at MWC).