With Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. dropping a big hint this week that it has either started or is getting ready to start production of 64-bit mobile processors, let's take a quick look at what the major players have said and done so far.
"If you observe the mobile device industry, in the past six months we do see the...conversion to 64-bit [in processors] after the Apple [64-bit A7 processor] announcement," Mark Liu, co-CEO of TSMC, said at a conference on Thursday after TSMC announced its first-quarter results.
If TSMC, the world's largest contract chip manufacturer, sees a shift to 64-bit, then you can bet it's going to happen because it will be manufacturing many of those chips.
TSMC makes processors for Qualcomm, Nvidia, and even Intel (it's making Intel's first-gen SoFIA processor), among others. And TSMC is rumored (I'd say it's likely) to participate in production Apple's next-gen 64-bit processors.
So, as we wait for the 64-bit version of Android (which some claim is Android 5), let's review what the major chip suppliers have said so far. (Remember, Apple is the only company actually shipping a 64-bit processor in consumer mobile products today.)