When will Samsung go 64-bit?

Oh yeah, Samsung will do 64-bit chip too. But don't expect to see a 64-bit Galaxy product shipping next month.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 packs 3GB of memory -- which is pushing toward the upper limit for 32-bit processors.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 packs 3GB of memory -- which is pushing toward the upper limit for 32-bit processors. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung is going 64-bit too. But when?

Apple drew plenty of oohs and aahs this week when it revealed the first 64-bit chip for smartphones on Tuesday.

Samsung immediately chimed in, saying it is going to do the 64-bit thing too.

"Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality," Samsung's mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun told the Korea Times on Wednesday.

The operative phrase is "not in the shortest time." That echoes a discussion I had earlier this month with ARM executives when they spoke about the Cortex A53 and A57 -- ARM's 64-bit design.

"The Cortex A53 and A57 are being shipped to lead [chip] partners. They are pushing the product into a combination of top-end mobile and others into server-type designs," said James Bruce, ARM's lead mobile strategist.

But don't get too excited. 64-bit ARM chips (from Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm et al) are likely a 2014 event, according to ARM. In other words, Samsung will be hard pressed to get 64-bit chips into shipping Galaxy tablets or phones before next year.

That's when mobile devices will make a run at laptop, according to ARM. "It will allow tablet-like devices to go from information consuming devices to information creation devices," ARM's Bruce said.

You know, just like a PC -- which have been 64-bit for a while now.

Samsung is already giving us a hint of a future of mobile devices packing PC-like memory capacities. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can use 3GB of memory.

Anything beyond 4GB and 64-bit chips become pretty much a necessity, as 32-bit processors in most cases can't address more memory than that.

Featured Video

Twitter flips order of some tweets, users flip out

Changes to Twitter's timeline could make the social network more appetizing to some -- and confusing to others. Meanwhile, LG teases an "always-on" screen for the G5 phone.

by Bridget Carey