This was always inevitable. Every tech-maniac was looking forward to the jump when Apple introduced it with iOS 7. This basically just pushed and urged the competitors to make the leap and maybe that is why Android L was designed to run on 64-bit chips.
But what does 64-bit processing mean??
We know that a computer handles information in “bits” i.e. 0 or 1. Every information is processed in the form of either 0 or 1 by processor with the use of RAM. The primary memory of CPU being RAM, the data in RAM are stored in small packets each of which has an address. In simple terms, a 32-bit processor can handle data strings of 32 characters. We call this the amount of memory a CPU can address. With 32-bit chip, you’re limited to a maximum of 4 gigabytes.
As the name suggests, 64-bit chips can handle data strings of 64 characters. This is a massive increase in the amount of memory a CPU can access. Theoretically, a 64-bit processor addresses upto the square of 4 GBs i.e. 16 exabytes (or 16 billion gigabytes), which is frankly a ridiculously large number. But it is to be noted that we are talking about the storage memory of RAM not mass storage device. With upgrade to 64-bit processors we can expect fluidity in app running and very smooth multitasking. Further 64-bit processors enhance better 3D graphics.
However is it really necessary??
Right now, not really. Almost the flagship devices today are maxed out on 4GB of RAM or less. In order to really harness and feel the true benefit of 64-bit processors, the handset would require a huge amount of RAM. This is why Apple’s release of iPhone 5S with 64-bit iOS packing only 1 GB of RAM seemed pointless to everyone at that time.
Well, the smartphone industry has grown rapidly since and is soon expected to cross the 4GB barrier with upgrade of Android to 64-bit. Qualcomm has recently released its high-end 64-bit chipsets, the Snapdragon 808 and the Snapdragon 810 that are expected to be commercially used by handsets by first half of 2015. Developers are keen to make sure the power packed 64-bit processor can be brought into use at its finest.
Nexus 9 and 8.9 inch HTC Volantis tablets are rumored to carry 5GBs of RAM with 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor.