THE ARM warned on Wednesday (7) that their future processor designs will not support instructions for 32 bits in the most powerful Cortex cores. This transition, which is expected to start in 2022, should help increase performance by 30% compared to the current generation. The company, which is in the process of being acquired by Nvidia, licenses its technology for Qualcomm, Samsung and MediaTek chips used in cell phones Android.
It works like this: ARM designs mobile processor designs and licenses them to third parties. They generally use the big.LITTLE architecture, which is made up of more powerful cores accompanied by cores that consume less energy for simple tasks.
ARM’s most powerful cores will lose 32-bit support in the 2022 generation, internally called Makalu. Meanwhile, simpler cores like the Cortex-A55 will continue to run such instructions; in this case, the transition should take longer.
Still, ARM is giving the warning well in advance so as not to take developers by surprise. She recommends that apps and games be upgraded to 64-bit as soon as possible, and says that this has benefits such as faster load times, smoother graphics and improved security features.
64-bit CPUs can perform better because they can find, move and process larger volumes of data in a shorter time span than a 32-bit chip. It is crucial for heavier tasks like artificial intelligence, immersive mobile games, or even displaying images on very high-definition screens.
Google requires 64-bit apps on Android
Since August 2019, Google has required apps sent to the Play Store to be 64-bit versions. (They can maintain 32-bit versions as well.) According to ARM, only 60% of applications run on 64-bit; however, most of the exceptions are in markets such as China, which has its own stores.
Android gained 64-bit support in version 5.0 Lollipop in 2014, but it can still work in legacy mode if the processor is not supported; the system also runs 32-bit apps. Google may change its mind now that ARM has announced its plans.
Apple, which makes its own processors, went through this transition a few years ago. In 2015, it started demanding that all applications sent to the App Store run in 64 bits; and removed support for 32-bit apps on iOS 11 in 2017.