real-time news and commentary for investors
Saturday, Oct 26
Qualcomm reassigns marketing chief following critical Apple CPU remark
- Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm's (QCOM) chief marketing officer and once the head of Intel's Atom CPU unit, has been reassigned after calling the 64-bit ARMv8 (ARMH) instruction set used by Apple's (AAPL) new A7 CPU (found in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and retina iPad Mini) a "gimmick."
- Qualcomm, which had already declared the comments to be "inaccurate" in an attempt at damage control, says Chandrasekher is "moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives."
- Back in August, Chandrasekher drew headlines by declaring 8-core mobile processors, such as one launched by MediaTek, a "dumb" idea, given efficiency/battery life tradeoffs. But whereas MediaTek is a rival, Apple is one of Qualcomm's top clients, using its baseband modems, RF transceivers, and power management ICs (but not its app processors) in iPhones and 4G-capable iPads.
- PR concerns aside, most apps won't get a performance boost from 64-bit in the near-term. But ARMv8's support for more CPU registers will benefit some performance-intensive media apps. Long-term, the ability of 64-bit CPUs to support more than 4GB of RAM make their mobile adoption inevitable.
- ARM shares took off after Apple disclosed the A7 will feature ARMv8, since 64-bit CPUs carry higher royalties. Since then, Samsung has disclosed its next-gen CPUs will be 64-bit.